Last time when India won the Cricket World Cup in 1983, the people of my generation were too young to acknowledge the worth of the India’s victory over West Indies. Since then we all wished to see India holding the Cup again. Now after 28 years, the Team India loaded with GenNext sentiments made possible for we guys to share the feelings of being a World Champion. We did it in style when Mr Cool struck a massive six over the long on in the 49th over bowled by Kulasekara. A classic and unique way to make the World Cup ours. It’s a memorable victory as unlike in 1983 when few thought that we would emerge as Champions, this time, however, we had to merely honour the expectations of billion plus people, who saw in Indian team the potential to emerge as a World Champion. And we did that in style by beating a formidable team. We didn’t provide the fans to feel disappointed like other times.
To be honest, I was not sure that India will emerge as World Champions even as Team India was hot favourite in the eyes of Cricket Pundits. The fielding was not up to the mark and our bowling lacked killer instincts. The turning point came when we defeated the Australians. The team showed a dramatic change in its attitude after defeating the three times World Champions Australia. We became like a disciplined army, who worked in tandem with well carved plan in an organized way. That made us to defeat another World Champion Pakistan in Semi-final. It wasn’t easy to tame the Sri Lankan lions, who were comprised of legendary players like Muralitharan and some real talented guys like Malinga, Sangakara and Mahela Jaywardene .
When Mahela Jayawardene made mockery of the Indian pace attack in final overs of their inning, I saw Sri Lankan fans giving big smiles. The Sri Lankan fans and Sri Lankan team were on seventh cloud after the dismissals of Tendulkar and Sehwag. However, the destiny had something else in store for them. The two Indian players who in rest of the World Cup matches hardly made significant contribution came to act as saviours. Gambhir and Virat Kohli by their cool and intelligent approach ensured that we would not let Tendulkar retire without World Cup in his record book. I am really unhappy that Man-of-the-Match went to Dhoni. I think the real credit need to be given to scintillating innings of Kohli and Gambhir during tense crucial phase of the game. They were the ones who brought India back in the game. Anyway, let’s hear what Gambhir has to say: “The 2007 World Cup was a nightmare, this was a dream come true. We’re so pleased for Sachin Tendulkar, this is for him.”
This World Cup saw end of the careers of many legendary players like Ponting. In this match we were seeing for the last time the two geniuses: Sachin and Murali. I must salute the attitude of this two great souls. I am sure we would have to wait for couple of centuries more to see such greatness again. Sachin has every moment to feel the heat of being the World Champions. This was the dream, which acted as no less than nightmare for him for past two decades. However, the emotions are hard to control when I hear him saying : “This is the proudest moment of my life – it’s never too late, as they say. The team stuck together and proved all the people who doubted us wrong.”
We Indians, who are on route to emerge as new superpowers, are still devoid of moments that make us feel really great. The Indian cricket team new Avatara (incarnation) as World Champions has provided us some moments to be on top of the world. Let this inspire us to emerge as better human beings in other spheres of life. It’s time to celebrate. Along with noise of crackers, I can also hear the words of Gavaskar in my ears: ”
What a way to win the World Cup, with the Indian captain hitting a six! Look at Sachin Tendulkar out there, he’s like a little kid – this was the one medal missing from his collection. This is great for Indian cricket, and for India, as the country has had a few problems over the last few months – hopefully it will bring everyone together.”