ITANAGAR, Feb 15:
Last evening, when I was walking down the lane behind my place I heard a few enthusiastic teenagers discussing about the India V/s Australia Warm-Up Game. They were super-excited at the prospect of an Indian Victory, yet they seemed to be concerned about the Indian Middle Order batting, whose performance has been below-par since the past few months or so. Furthermore, one of them displayed his apprehension regarding the fact that, maybe the Indians were putting too much pressure on the likes of Tendulkar or Sehwag, to perform every time they walk into the centre. Ideally, it should be the perfect launching pad for the Indian middle and lower order hitters to put in their cannon balls, if the openers get them off to a relatively steady start. But as rightly pointed out by a virtuoso, every team should be ready with a Plan B and a Plan C, in case Plan A doesn’t work!!
Now, this is India. Such is the passion for cricket that irrespective of all the rain and the dampness this evening, the level of enthusiasm has crossed all constraints and forced these youngsters to get together and discuss India’s chances, this world cup.
“Without any doubt, Praveen’s injury is a bit setback for India before this prodigious clash of the best in business, since he is a street-smart customer with the ball, has swing, can vary his pace plus he is a more than effective lower order striker”, continued the discussion, “But you can’t ignore the fact that Sree, his replacement, looked the best bait among the Indian Medium Pacers against the mighty Australians”, somebody poked in. “Yup, still, Dhoni is hiding his fast bowlers, he doesn’t have enough faith in them as I could sense”.
“Chalega Yaar! With the sub-continent wickets, the Indian Spinners should be more than effective, plus the part-timers (I hate to call them so, though) are doing a tremendous job, over the last 1 and a half years or so”, someone’s eyes were sparkling.
“And finally Dhoni has managed to get over his obsession with Ravindra Jadeja, LOL”, this statement was followed with a huge roar of laughter, “No Pun intended though: D “. The loud roar, didn’t last long since somebody from the window ordered them to talk in a softer tone. “Disgusting”, murmured one of the boys. Who would tolerate hindrance in such an important discussion?!
“I have promised my dad, that I won’t touch cigarette if he gifts me with a new bleed blue jersey on my birthday, next week”, said one, amused. “I have told my girl friend that please don’t ask me to take you out for the next 2 months or so, if needed you can go for an affair”. The conversation shifted from discussing strategies on the field, to a personal level. Furthermore, it was getting chilly as well. So, I decided to move along, it was getting late.
Cricket has thus stepped into us, as our very own; it has turned into our life. The life of every Indian, irrespective of age or circumstances, cricket is our religion. We worship the “game of uncertainties” and the cricketers are no doubt the preachers of this religion. Go Dhoni, Go India!! Make us proud again after 27 long years.
Sammya Brata Mullick
*This piece has been selected as a Winning Entry for the ‘Viewspaper Cricket and Passion Writing Competition’*