Beyond Belief…

Yesterday I wrote a post and did not publish it – I don’t know why, maybe cause I was not entirely convinced about it.

The gist of the post was that the Indian Cricket Team was made up of a bunch of idiots who had put up a horrendous show, proved their detractors right and worst believed that they stood no chance to get to the CB series final. But we fans were the bigger idiots – who continued to believe that despite these huge failures this team would bounce back.

On away tours – starting from the WI tour in June 2011, India has crossed the 300+ total in tests twice(347 Vs WI and 400 Vs Aus) in 22 innings while  they got to 300 (Vs Eng) once .

Post the World Cup we have played 14 ODIs abroad and got to 300 or more only once. We lost that match thanks to D/L and rain

I don’t recollect that last time we chased down a target of 300+ at 8 R.P.O in a pressure game of a major league.

To me the NatWest Final 2002 remains the ultimate chase (The World Cup 2011 win is different – we were clinical and despite a horrendous start of 0/1 never got ourselves into a losing position) At the NatWest final – half way down the mark we were 146/5; all bigwigs gone and 2 relatively unknown inexperienced youngsters Yuvraj and Kaif chased down 326 in 50 overs. That chase was unreal and still gives me goose bumps.

The second one that comes to mind was the Independence Cup Final in Dhaka, 1998. We were the first team to chase a score of 300+ in ODIs and we got the winning runs in dark. After a superlative start by Sachin and Dada, Kanitkar’s 4 remained etched in memory forever.

Sharjah 1998 – The sandstorms that hit Australia  – both the real one and the Sachin one. They would’ve taken  the former cause the latter wrecked them for good. The league match where we needed to get ahead of NZ on run-rate, when Sachin began to go for a win and not just the run-rate target. That one. But the pressure was different – we could afford to lose and qualify and the total was under 300.

Benoni 1997 – Tendulkar, Robin Singh-Jadeja scripted a famous chase getting to the target of 240 under 40 overs – but again the run-rate required was 6 R.P.O

Today we needed 321 off 40 overs. This when we had failed to chase 250+ in 50 overs in last 3 matches and failed to get to 200 in 2 of them. Previous match we messed up the chase to tie with SL and the 2 wins before that we huffed and puffed our way to the target – never getting a crucial bonus point while gifting them away to Aus/SL in their wins against us.

Tell me how was I supposed to believe (despite my strong faith in this team) that they would pull off the impossible today? I know they have done the impossible in the past; and hence I have still hung onto them – hoping for a turnaround. But Sunday chase brought out the hidden cynical me. I just stopped hoping. Their meek surrenders over the last 8 months have hurt more than the losses itself and so believing today was beyond me – I had no strength today to garner my hope and then see it being crushed, especially since I was recovering from a 2 week illness.

So I did not believe we would win today and what did these XI buggers do? They chased 321 not in 40 but 36.4 overs. Sachin-Sehwag pulled off their Centurion 2003 act. Gambhir aided Kohli ably despite the couple of heart-attacks he gave us where Kohli almost got run-out if not for the dives he took to get into the crease ( Gavaskar must’ve experienced ecstasy seeing Kohli dive today).

After Gambhir got out – it was all Kohli. Raina pitched in with a fine 40(24) – a lovely drive in the V on the off and then a superb flick 6 on the on-side reminding me of Dada a bit; but it was all Kohli today.

133* off 86 balls – 16 fours – 2 sixes. Last 9 deliveries of Malinga that he faced he hammered 33 runs – one single, one 2s, one 6 and six 4s! He finished the match off in a jiffy not waiting to get to the 40th over.

I have to say this – Kohli’s attack on Malinga was orgasmic and for India’s stunning victory given the horrendous tour, I have no words to describe it cause it has still not sunk in!

This team is going to screw my health – they have the most impossible wins in history of cricket and the worst losses. It impacts me a lot – I cannot cope up or fathom the improbable wins and the losses hurt so bad that the head gets all messed up!

These buggers are beyond my belief and despite the heart-breaks and heart-attacks rendered till date – I have to admit I still love them to death!