An Ode to Team India

Beloved Team India,

Team India: World Champions!
I love cricket. No wait, I love, heart, pyar, ishq, mohabbat the sport. Ask anyone and they’ll tell you, “Roshni is the mistress of cricket!” I'm not your average team India fan. I don't just get happy when team India wins, I cry my eyes out. I don't get upset when the team loses, I find myself sulking for days. I'm not sure what my connection with cricket is. I was all of eleven when my Father introduced me to the sport. We were shopping for my uncles wedding and I found myself surprised to find every store in Mumbai equipped with a television surrounded its employees. I question the infatuation and guess what? It hit me like a googly. I was bowled out, middle stump. After I learned the basics and intricate details, I found myself mesmerized, addicted, obsessed. From then on, I became a team India cricket fanatic following the team through all their tours and even the 2007 World Cup. I knew then, I was hooked for life. It wasn't as though I became a team India fan by default. Yes, I love India, everyone knows that but I genuinely believed (and still do) in the temperament and future of Indian cricket. The talent was (and is) incredible. Like every cricket fan, I too was waiting with baited breath for the team to take home the Cricket World Cup. With every win over the last few years, the team proved more and more, that they deserved it. On April 2nd, 2011, it happened. You, team India, fulfilled the ultimate Indian cricket fans dream: you won the Cricket World Cup on home ground.

As soon as the skipper hit the last sixer out of the stadium, I closed my eyes and said a silent prayer. And then I did what I didn't think I would do: I cried. Why I bawled? I'll never know. Maybe it was because of sheer pride for my country. Maybe it was because as a cricket fan, I saw my team, whom I loved and followed for years now, complete a dream that every fan wished for. Or maybe it was just one of those moments where happiness couldn't be expressed in any other way but sheer tears. In fact, it took me a few hours for this reality to sink in before the rona-dona completely stopped.

I'm not sure what incentive you boys went in with. Whether it was for to prove to the world, that you are indeed are the best, or it was to give Sachin the best farewell World Cup or for just for the country. Whatever your incentive, my boys, you played like complete champions. From the first match through to the final, you proved that you really are world class cricketers in every sense of the way and put every critic, who didn't think you lads could do it, to shame.

Like fans all over, I too watched in horror when Dhoni walked onto the pitch ahead of Yuvraj. “What on earth!” I thought. And I'll be honest, I have been skeptical of M.S. Dhoni as a captain. Not because he isn't capable of producing results. No. He is India's most successful captain and has proved it time and time again. His selfless attitude is one that is admirable in every which way. Dhoni's love for his boys and his eagerness for them to perform is beautiful. But it's his arrogance that irked me. However, at the final, he really outdid himself. His decision to come in and take care of the game was one that I’ll never question. What I believed would bring him down, he worked to his advantage. There was pressure but at no point did he display it nor did he crumble. Straight faced he handled it. And then, when it was really needed, the skipper played the ultimate captain’s innings. To you, I owe an apology. In all honesty, this World Cup would have been impossible without you. Captain Cool, you rock!

And how can I forget the one man whom I look up to, admire and worship in the cricket world, Mr. Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. The joy I felt when I saw you being carried by the team around the grounds, flag and cup in hand, is one that I will never forget. There is and will never be a cricketer like you. You style, grace and humility can never be imitated. And I assure you, not only me, but Indians all over including your team, will agree with me. Sachin Tendulkar, thank you for making Indian cricket what it is today. We love you!

Lastly, while we all sit and go on about the team without giving the man who changed the face of this team: Gary Kirsten. We see so little of him, but it is really the South African coach who turned things around for Team India. The team we see today, a world class team, is only because of him. The whole country salutes you, Gary. Kudos!

I never doubted you Team India. Even when it looked tough out there, I had faith in you boys. And every time you pulled through like true champions. As Indians, we couldn't be more proud of you all. We prayed hard, over one billion of us. We chanted shloks, hymns and prayer beads at every match. And yes, we all succumbed to strange superstitions – staying seated in the same chair for an entire innings if we needed to as we were scared things would fall apart if we moved. But you gave us exactly what we wanted: dhinchak, bindaas, fultoo cricket followed by the biggest jeet, any Indian could ask for.

As I sit to write this piece today, it is April 3rd 2011. A whole day has passed since the victory and it happens to be my birthday. A few weeks ago, I was asked, "What do you want for a birthday present?" My answer: "For India to win the Cricket World Cup." Thank you for giving me the best birthday present any Indian cricket fan could ask for. Nothing could substitute for a better present. Not a diamond ring, not a million bucks, not even a Bollywood blockbuster. As for the party? Well, a party that has been 28 years in the making has to be fab! Ask people on the streets in India who partied like it was millennium.

Men in Blue, M.S. Dhoni, Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel, Sreesanth, Ashish Nehra, Piyush Chawla, R. Ashwin and Yusuf Pathan, Congratulations! We won!

Love always:
A proud Indian, a Desi girl who loves cricket, vows to Bleed Blue forever and the happiest birthday girl in the world!


Someone is Special said...

Right from your heart.. Awesome.. Awesome.. and of course as Dhoni said in Presentation, Why up the order?, he proved it.. and Sachin Sachin Sachin, he is the MAN.. this time for Sachin.. Happy man..

Someone is Special

Someone is Special said...

What an Ode Roshni.. Wonderful and of course Dhoni had answered the critics.. and The Little Master deserves the cup.. Wow Wow Wo.. Sachin Sachin Sachin.. Everywhere..

Someone is Special


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