By Karthik Shankar:
So let’s just forget about that shall we. Or maybe we should keep talking about it. Mohammed Shami’s magic yorkers never materialised. Also, what on earth was up with Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina’s horrendous batting? Anushka Sharma, you better go into hiding. The sexist cricket fans and meme lovers are coming for you. It doesn’t matter if Kohli is solely responsible for his terrible defeat (due credit to Mitchell Johnson’s excellent bowling). Dhoni, why does everything fall on your shoulders? When you were bowled out, we collectively accepted our impending defeat and just waited for the torture to get over.
Some have questioned why the Cricket World Cup still continues to hold a place in our national conversation despite being littered with scandals and controversies over the past few years. My answer is “Because nothing else compares.”
Some of the most indelible moments of Indian cricket have been in the World Cup. My father still keeps talking about the moment when a young Kapil Dev hit a 175 against Zimbabwe in the 1983 World Cup. Our generation may remember the India-England game in 2011 that saw both Sachin Tendulkar and Andrew Strauss hitting a century. It can also remember devastating moments like the 2003 final where Australia thrashed India. These are the moments of history we hope to witness first hand.
Wins or losses, they bind us together as a nation. It stung when a team that arguably has one of the best batting line ups in this world cup fell down like a pack of cards. Cricket is about character and co-ordination. It’s not a game. It’s a beautifully choreographed ballet with an array of personalities from volcanic to genteel.
There are those who’ll turn on the cricketers and claim they weren’t in form in this tournament, after praising the strength of the team. The BCCI will pacify irate cricket fans by promising to tap into newer talent. None of this post-game analysis matters to all of us who were watching. For a moment, we were so close…