I did not see Kapil Dev covering the entire ground to take that impossible catch that won us the world cup. Those were the times when we were on radio. The graceful voices of Dr. Narottam Puri and M. Sushil Doshi created magic in the broadcast. I remember tuning in to the channel when India was once on Australian tour. The match used to start at 2.30 AM IST. I used to be enthralled by a Sandip Patil’s century here and a VengSarkar’s fifty there, apart from the great Gavaskar’s inimitable innings.
The famous four spinners had just retired shortly after Kapil Dev took over. Obviously, he did not have a great team. This might be one of the reasons why many of us did not give much weightage to India, against the mighty West Indies, despite Kapil’s unbeaten 175 during the league stages to bail India out despite being 5 down for twenty odd runs. And when we won, we watched the match so many times over. In fact, there was nothing much in that match apart from the memorable catch by Kapil Dev.
And a whole turn around the psyche of a nation. We were proud to have Gavaskar, who had started drawing matches for us, But we had not expected a World cup to come to us yet. Hence it was a great surprise more than a matter of pride. We won another championship two years later. That had established that the potential was there. That made the nation wait for more glimpses and more consistency when Sachin Tendulkar came in. He had raised the bar to unbelievable levels in all formats of the game which established us as a cricketing giant.
We now have an all-time cricketing coach for the nation in Dhoni. He begot the 2nd World cup for us, again because he believed in who we are. Down at 45 for 3 he took charge, and executed the captain’s role to perfection. The run by run self assurance that he conveyed to himself and the team was incredible, a treat to watch. And unforgettable. He planted the seed a Virat Kolhli to grow, and many more talents. He trusted, He observed and he generated confidence.
The nation does not win by a fluke anymore. It executes with insight. If there is a human being to be inspired, it’s not the analysis of his performance, but a convincing portrayal of his potential. That is how cricket has clicked. The embodiment of the Indian way of Cricket is the display of Virat Kohli fellows.
We have a Mount Everest to climb each time. But Cricket clicks for this nation.