Hardcore Indian cricket fans had good reason to be gutted on Sunday night when Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s team came a cropper against Sri Lanka in the final of the ICC World T20 tournament in Mirpur, Bangladesh.
But there is a thin line between being overly disappointed and unfair. That line gets thicker when the fan turns incredulous and violent.
Reports from Chandigarh said that stones were pelted at Yuvraj’s home after his 21-ball 11 runs caused India’s misery in the final.
Actions likes these must receive the sternest of ridicule and punishment because as captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni rightly put it in his post-match interaction with the media, “nobody wants to really play bad cricket.”
Mindless fans — if one can call them ‘fans’ — do not seem to realise that there is a winner and loser in every contest and both teams get into a competition to win.
A bad day
Sure, Yuvraj just couldn’t get his act together, but there are various factors which may have caused that situation — tight bowling, lack of form or just the nature of batsmanship, in which your feet move like magic on one day and refuse to budge the next. It’s something which practitioners call rhythm or momentum.
It must not be forgotten that India went into the final with an unbeaten run, an enviable position for any team.
However, it must be said that it appears that Yuvraj’s best years are behind him and skipper Dhoni should not have gone in with a batsman who has scratched away all tournament and one who recently suffered an injury scare.
Maybe Dhoni feared a media backlash for dropping a high profile player. But Dhoni, as his recent record of skipping media briefings suggests, is not too worried about how the media feels about him.
While we would have loved to see him playing Captain Cool, it will be improper to ignore the brilliant effort made by the Sri Lankan team. They pulled off an amazing win, and ought to be hailed appropriately, disappointment notwithstanding.