April 2, 2011 - A day which will go down in the pages of history as a day when India's cricketing sun shone with its majestic brightness over the world of the gentleman's game. A day when inspiration, determination, devotion and perfection alchemised metallic talent into golden jubilant heroes. A day which comes but rarely in history, when a nation, long impatient, celebrates, holding The Cup of joy, of domination; proud of being officially becoming, atleast for the next 4 years, The World Champions of cricket.
This day belongs to those who considered cricket their religion, to those who used to bunk school, homework, office workload and their businesses to see India bat destructively, to see Indian bowlers take wickets convincingly, to see it fall and to be proud witnesses of India's convincing revival.
But most importantly, this day belongs truly and deservingly to those brave 15 warriors and their support staff who, amidst nerve-wrecking pressure of overflowing expectations, saw nothing in front of them except that Golden trophy, world domination and the honour of being a part of history forever.
The last one and a half years has been nothing short of a renaissance of Indian cricket, from being the laughing stock at West Indies in 2007, to becoming world champions twice, in 2007 and 2011, under a charismatically cool headed leader.
Today, Mahendra Singh Dhoni has shown to the world that Indian cricket is not just about Sachin's centuries or Zaheer's wickets. He proved that Indian cricket is about one inspired team playing with fullest determination, performing beyond their own expectations, in tandem, as one team, for achieving any target they set for themselves.
Pardon me if I am being too early (or too late) in saying this, but our beloved MSD truly deserves the title of being the greatest captain in the history of Indian Cricket.
A 26 year old lad who had just come into the limelight by virtue of his hard hitting, carefree batting & his signature strokes, was given the toughest burden in this world— to lead the Indian cricket team into glory, that too at a time during which glory was a word any sane Indian cricket fan or expert wouldn't have imagined being attached to the team. At a time when old blood was fading away and the new blood was too nascent to be sure of its importance, came this man, who, step by step, guided this band of brothers through lessons of resilience and resurgence, ultimately making them pass their greatest test ever to show them the glory of World Domination. MSD, in my most humble opinion is the champion of champions in this world cup.
And yes, I am fully aware that the real force behind this very date being so special, is none other than whom we all consider to be the God of Indian Cricket, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. The Indian team had already made it precisely clear that they will be giving Sachin a befitting farewell on what is, in most probability, going to be his last World Cup. And what better a farewell than getting him a World Cup. We all know it was the World Cup victory of 1983 that gave the cricketing world its God, and the Almighty winning the world cup finally is nothing short of fulfilment of his own personal destiny.
This World Cup victory is the triumph of not only the Men in Blue, but also of the power of inspiration. Our Indian Team was as inspired as it was talented. It is only inspiration that can be the force behind the knocks of Tendulkar, Gauti, Yuvi and Dhoni; behind the devastating bowling of Yuvi, Bhajji, Zaheer and Ashwin & behind the resurrection of the Indian fielding. Inspiration alone has this power of making us deliver beyond our capabilities, something the Indians have done time and again, even in the final.
This victory has far reaching ramifications then what even meets the eye of this humble writer. I am beamed with pride as I write these words of appreciation for my heroes. The Country has been made proud by 15 of its best children. Now we will be referred to as “World Champions” India in all forthcoming matches for the next 4 years.
I am short of words and phrases to write on this, so I will end it here. Congratulations Team India. You have made this country proud!
In the words of any ordinary Indian Cricket Fan summing up this entire World Cup journey, Team India ne diya ghumake!!!