Wednesday, Jul 10, 2024 09:30 [IST]

Last Update: Wednesday, Jul 10, 2024 04:03 [IST]

T20 World Cup: Team India's collective effort and performance

DIPAK KURMI

The triumph of Team India in the T20 World Cup brought the entire nation together in celebration. Overcoming formidable odds, our cricketers clinched a thrilling victory against South Africa in the final held in Barbados. Their remarkable performance was marked by an unblemished record, remaining undefeated throughout the tournament.

 

In this tournament, every player played a vital role in the team's success, a stark contrast to past events where outcomes often hinged on the performance of just one or two stars. The Proteas seemed to have victory in their grasp, needing only 30 runs from the final five overs. South African batsman Heinrich Klaasen was in explosive form, relentlessly smashing sixes. Just when all hope seemed lost, Hardik Pandya managed to dismiss Klaasen, marking a pivotal moment in the game. The tension peaked in the last over when Suryakumar Yadav made an incredible catch at the boundary off Hardik’s delivery to send David Miller packing. Suryakumar skillfully maintained his balance, leaped back, and secured the catch just before the ball touched the ground, sealing South Africa’s fate.

 

Despite facing criticism for his captaincy of the Mumbai Indians in this year’s IPL due to the team's lackluster performance, Hardik managed to find his rhythm and excelled in the final and throughout most of the tournament. He stepped in for Rohit Sharma, who had been the beloved captain of Nita Ambani’s franchise for many years, and demonstrated remarkable leadership and skill when it mattered most.

 

Jasprit Bumrah, with his exceptional pace and precision, continued to be both economical and effective with the white ball, showcasing his consistent brilliance. He found strong support in fellow fast bowler Arshdeep Singh, who delivered peak performances just when the team needed them most.

 

Virat Kohli rose to the occasion exactly when the team needed him most, delivering a stellar performance in the final that was crucial to our victory. Marking his last appearance in T20 Internationals, this moment will be etched in his memory forever. Fellow Indians will always remember the immense contributions of this big-hearted cricketer. I feel honored that he has chosen Mumbai, my city, as his permanent residence, respecting his wife’s wishes.

 

Another cricketing giant bidding farewell to T20 cricket is the captain, Rohit Sharma. Over the years, Rohit has brought immense joy and entertainment with his batting prowess. Serving as the primary aggressor for both India and the Mumbai Indians, his effortless sixes and fours have thrilled fans in both international and league cricket. While his performance in this World Cup was not as remarkable, save for a near-century in the Super Eight match against Australia, his legacy remains formidable. Rohit was also part of the Indian squad that clinched the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007 in South Africa. As he steps away from T20s, I extend a warm welcome to Rohit, born in Nagpur but who made Mumbai his home as a young cricketer.

 

Rishabh Pant, the flamboyant wicketkeeper-batsman, was a spectacle both behind the stumps and with the bat. He was joined by other power hitters like Suryakumar Yadav and Shivam Dube, who added significant firepower. All-rounder Axar Patel stepped up during crucial moments, while Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav played his part effectively. The success of this team was a result of a tremendous collective effort, all driven by an outstanding leader.

 

Every opponent, whether it was the USA or Ireland, was approached with utmost respect. There was no space for complacency in any match, regardless of the opposition's stature.

 

There are valuable lessons our political leaders can glean from this victorious World Cup team, particularly in the realm of leadership. These lessons emphasize inclusivity, leveraging each individual's strengths, and maintaining respect for opponents rather than viewing them as mere obstacles. Even the RSS sarsanghchalak echoed similar sentiments following the BJP's underwhelming performance in the recent Lok Sabha elections, where significant ground was lost in Uttar Pradesh, traditionally a stronghold for the saffron party.

 

The announcement by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) of a Rs 125-crore reward for the team struck a discordant note. The greatest reward for those who represent the nation lies in their success on the grandest stages of Tests, ODIs, or T20s. The love, respect, and recognition from their fellow countrymen stand at the pinnacle of rewards. Amid our shared jubilation, the emphasis on monetary rewards seemed unnecessary.

 

The manner in which the cash rewards were announced seemed tactless and overly commercialized, reminiscent of a crass form of commercialism. This approach contradicts the essence of teachings found in the Bhagavad Gita, where the principle of performing one's duty without attachment to rewards is fundamental. It raises the question: why did the BCCI assume that the players were motivated primarily by monetary incentives in their pursuit of success?

Certainly, it's understandable to announce a fitting monetary reward, which is expected and deserved. However, it could have been distributed without the pomp and circumstance that might give the impression players are solely motivated by financial gain. What they truly seek is something far more profound: the admiration, love, and above all, the respect of the people of India.

(Email: dipakkurmiglpltd@gmail.com)

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