Exactly a year ago, Indians indulged in song, dance and merry after Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s Indians claimed the greatest prize in international cricket — the ICC World Cup.
Since 1983, India came close to achieving what Kapil Dev’s team did on June 25 that year, but somehow they stumbled. In 1987, the defending champions were thwarted in the semi-final against England at Mumbai.
In 1996, an exit was experienced at the same stage of the tournament, except the opposition was different — Sri Lanka. And in 2003, the final loss to Australia in Johannesburg, South Africa was nothing short of heartbreaking.
It took some doing for Dhoni’s team to break a 28-year jinx. For starters, a good team culture and work ethic had to be maintained. But the biggest hurdle was to keep showing the ability to come back from tough situations.
Although on paper, they lost only one game (to South Africa) in their 2011 World Cup campaign, the road was not a super smooth one.
Sri Lanka were no pushovers as final opponents. After all, they were runners-up in the 2007 edition.
Under Captain Cool, India achieved the incredible. The strong helping hands came in the form of the experienced Sachin Tendulkar and all-rounder Yuvraj Singh, who was adjudged man of the tournament.
Like Kapil Dev’s team in 1983, India did not set the world ablaze post the triumph. They have been shockingly inept abroad and the selection committee has lacked guts and gumption. There is no shortage of talent. Probably, a better usage of resources is what the team needs.
The BCCI can get their kicks through the IPL, but the T20 extravaganza must not have an intoxicating effect on their vision.
No better time to take fresh guard than April 2, 2012, even if India don’t play international cricket for a few months.