I just caught the last three overs of the second final of the Commonwealth Bank series. And India won!! A nail-biting nine run victory that they deserved.
I love this Indian team. The energy levels are extremely catching. You know that those boys out there are trying their best. Dhoni's maturing as a leader and I'm glad. I hope all the positive support for him lasts a while and doesn't end with the next time India loses. That's one thing, I don't like about Indian cricket fans. They seem to refuse to accept that wins and losses are part and parcel of any sport and that burning effigies of the players and throwing stones at their houses is pointless. We all have bad days and good days and not just in sport.
Anyway, I'm digressing, this was a phenomenal win and will go down in cricketing history as one of India's best wins ever. Again like at the Twenty20 World Cup, different people have proven themselves at different points of time and it's easy to call this victory a team effort as well. Rohit Sharma, Gautam Gambhir. How could I forget them? They've played wonderfully this entire series and deserve to be praised. They've been in stupendous form and India owes some of its victories to them.
When I first heard, that Rahul Dravid and Saurav Ganguly hadn't been picked for the squad I was very disappointed. And I thought that India didn't stand a chance. Wrong again. They performed magnificently and I had to eat crow again just as I did in the Twenty20 World Cup.
But Sachin Tendulkar was amazing. He batted well in both the finals and proved once again to be Australia's nemesis. No matter if he didn't perform well in the other matches, he rose to the occasion when it mattered the most.
And I'm sure Harbhajan Singh's a very happy man now. His bowling as been spot on in the matches and his reaction after the win proves how vindicated he feels. Is it just me or does anybody else feel that the Australian media has been going a bit over the top in their persecution of Harbhajan? I'm not saying he's a saint but I don't think he's as bad as they potray him to be.
And I like Ishant Sharma as well. His growth over the last two minutes has been amazing and I'm glad. India now has pace bowlers to rely on with Ishant, Irfan, Shreesanth, R P Singh etc.
There were some heart-warming moments during the presentation ceremony as well. I loved how bashful Pravin Kumar was when he won the match of the match. Refusing to go up on the stage and running off as quicky as possible without speaking anything. Kinda cute. And for a relatively inexperienced bowler to go up there and perform so marvellously on an international stage couldn't have been easy on his nerves. But he held it together beautifully for his four wickets.
Adam Gilchrist's retiring brought tears to my eyes. And yes, I know I'm in an excessively sentimental mood these days but still. Ever since I've begun watching cricket seriously I've always admired Adam Gilchrist. He comes across as, and I may be really wrong here, a straightforward blunt guy. I liked his speech as well. It was visible that it came from the heart and I liked the fact that he thanked all his fans over the world and not just the Australians. Unlike Shoaib Malik at the Twenty20 World Cup who thanked all the 'Muslims' the world over for supporting the Pakistani team. Ugh.
On a sour note though, I was a little bit irritated to see the Indian team and the Indian officials talking among themselves while Dhoni was on the platform speaking. It smacks of disrespect. It's your captain up there and the least you can do is listen to him no matter how many presentations you've attended before or how many times you've heard the same speech. Australia was quite a contrast on the other hand. They stood attentively with no sign of their being bored while both Gilchrist and Ricky Ponting were speaking.
But anyway, India won!!! So I'm not going to dwell too much on this.
There couldn't have been a better ending to this extremely controversial series.
And also I'm very happy for the u-19 team that won the World Cup as well. Even though I haven't watched a match, I'm sure they played beautifully and it was a well-deserved win. Here's to hoping that we see more of them in the seniors team and that they aren't treated as shabbily as Mohammed Kaif was.
It is always wonderful to see a young team perform as well as Virat Kohli's boys have. We know we have hope for the future in them.
It's been an awesome week for Indian cricket and hopefully this upsurge will continue.