Some of the greatest stories of resilience in the sporting arena are written when teams are written off. You rarely expect them to put up a fight or to be even more precise you rarely expect them to turn up. When this Indian team was bundled out for 36 everyone was quick to pounce. The critics were ready to write off. But what happened after that is a tale for the ages.
We found new heroes. Heroes who were ready to fight. Heroes who were ready to fight as if their life depended on it. Heroes who turned deaf to the voice of the critics. Heroes who were ready to script a fairy tale comeback with their new found resilience both on and off the field.
Back in the days it was often repeated that getting past the defences of ” The Wall” was very difficult. This Indian team is a Wall in itself. Someone will always be there to play the innings of his life. Someone will always be there to keep picking up wickets relentlessly.
This Indian team is beyond individual achievements. When all us were yearning for that Kohli 100 yesterday. Kohli turned up and played out one of the grittiest 62 that you will ever see. Ask the king himself and he would say that the 62 yesterday was much more precious than any of his 100’s.
5 wickets in no time. If it was any of the teams of the past we would have been happy to throw our wickets away and be happy with that 300 lead that we had.
But then the superman of Chepauk decided to teach the naysayers a lesson.
Fools! We are not done yet. What a sight it was. But this wasn’t something new. We have already witnessed the prelude in Sydney. So this was always on the cards.
It was like reading a book filled with memorable lines as our local boy scripted his own redemption. At the other end Siraj showed us what it means to be part of this team. That celebration was just a brief glimpse of the camaraderie within this team.
In the final test it was Pant and Sundar when we lost 5 wickets for very few runs. The series is done and dusted as we look forward to the final on June 18th against the Kiwis.
And we have also learnt to payback the opponents in their own coin which began with that clever Chahal swap. We know to play the game your way too. Pant being dismissive of the Poms despite their unnecessary relentless sledging. Ashwin’s famous retort to Tim Paine’s “See you at the Gabba mate”.and Axar’s fitting reply to those crying about the pitch. We are done being pushovers. And I have a feeling that there’s more to come.
I won’t be surprised if this Indian team goes onto emulate the great West Indian and Australian teams of the past. We are on the verge of greatness. From now on the question shouldn’t be “Where am I going to find my next cricketing hero?” It should be “Who is going to be the hero for the day?”