Such cricket matches as you saw on that Tuesday afternoon demonstrate
the robustness of human heart. Millions of hearts in India as well as
Australia would have had a very tough time responding to the tension
and stress that the last one hour provided. And as we inched closer,
cricinfo servers froze, enhancing the stress levels further. All work
came to a standstill as we fervently hoped, wished, prayed that the
very very superb Mr. Laxman in partnership with Ishant pulls it off
for India. And they did to provide joy to a billion people.
Not for the first time, Laxman not only negated and navigated through
everything Kangaroos threw at him, he also scored at almost run a
ball! Those fantastic pulls, drives through cover and extra cover all
were there despite a dodgy back. The amazing ball by ball commentary
at Cricinfo stretched imagination as I visualized those shots. Later
in the evening when I caught up with the highlights, I was stunned to
see the calm, poise and determination in the face of Laxman. Dhoni ran
himself out. The way he got out also tells you how lost the usually
smart Dhoni was and perhaps low on belief. But Laxman seemed to think
it didn't matter. He seemed to tell his partners, I will do it with
you, without you or in spite of you! Ishant chose to be with him. If
you watched the highlights, you'll know why Dravid says 'nothing calms
you like Laxman'! And yet one of the enduring images of the match will
be Lax giving a mouthful to Ojha when the latter was lost in the
situation and didn't respond to a call for a run. Ojha was fortunate
to be not within striking distance of Laxman! That showed the
intensity which is usually clouded by his smile and ease of
strokeplay. Raina who was running for Laxman through out the innings
would benefit from closely watching the way Laxman dealt with bouncers
and short pitched stuff. There is little doubt that such calmness of
mind to weather a crisis comes also from a lot of discipline in life.
It is here that the Rohit Sharmas, Rainas and Yuvrajs need to learn
from the work ethic of Laxman as also of Sachin and Dravid. What is
common to these three modern greats is that their celebration of a
milestone ends with just raised arms and a look to the sky and kissing
the Indian flag. No pumping of fists, no chestbeating, no screams.
Those are perhaps for lesser mortals for whom achievement is an
The equal partner in this win was Ishant who looks capable of giving
batting tips to India's young brigade. He increasingly reminds me of
Jason Gillespie. I only hope he doesn't fall in the hands of Greg
Chappell! We can't afford to lose another talent like Irfan Pathan.
Ishant is still young and should work on his fitness.
So that was heart stopper indeed which reminded me the value of
insuring one's life! It was certainly not for the weak hearted -
neither to play, nor watch!
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The Prayer of India:
సమస్త లోకా: సుఖినో భవంతు - May all the worlds live in peace.
- ▼ 2010 (11)