Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mark of a Champion

This post may be a bit premature, considering that the IPL has just begun and most teams still have 12-13 games to go. However, certain performances have given me so much satisfaction that i couldn't help but blog about them.

Firstly, Jumbo (Anil Kumble) 5-5, a performance worthy of comparison with his 6-12 heroics against the West Indies (back when they had a competitive team) way back in 1992 (it was the Hero Cup i think). I was just 6, but i still remember that bowling performance it made me a die hard Kumble Fan, and he has never disappointed me. Whether it be sitting in the ground in Ferozshah Kotla watching him take 10 wickets in an Innings against arch rivals Pakistan, or sitting at home and watching on television the man who came back on the field with a broken jaw all bandaged up and got Brian Lara out. These are the memories which bring warmth to the heart of any one who has known and loved the commitment that this giant has shown towards his country and the game.

Secondly, Rahul Dravid, our Wall, scoring 66 in 45 balls to ensure that the Royal Challengers won their opening IPL match. Put it into context, this man has forever been criticised for being a slow run scorer, not being free flowing enough etc etc. This is the man who has forever been wronged/doubted and required to prove himself time and time (except in Karnataka maybe), and now it's his time to stand up and say, i can handle test cricket, i've done it all in one day cricket as well, what is this child plays T20?

Thirdly, Sachin, the Master, what can be said about him. There are no words to describe this man's genius and i still wonder how he can still have the hunger to play having 'been there and done that'. Sachin was injured during the last IPL Season and in the matches he played, he did not meet his own expectations. Watch out for him, he rarely rarely ever fails twice in a row. The orange cap could be sitting pretty on his head at the end of IPL Season 2.

Lastly, Dada, got 2 wickets in the win against Kings XI Punjab, his bowling is not the issue here though. I am dying for him to score one of his innings where he drives through the offside and runs down the pitch and smashes the spinners to all parts. The fact that he still has it in him is in no doubt and again he does not need to prove anything to anyone, however, what he needs to do is play a few such innings to tell his team that they made a big mistake in picking McCullum as captain (who has a one day record as captain of 1 win and 6 losses). Play such an innings Saurav, then you can take off your shirt and hand it to John Buchanan and tell him to shove it.

These are the champions of our country, they have brought us great pride and honour. Champions like them are not restricted by the format of the game. You can make the game 10 days long and they'll still be the best, you can make the game 10 overs long and they'll still be the best, and that is the mark of a true champion.

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