Twenty20 over… what next for India?

Team IndiaThe last ball of the tournament would probably be the perfect way to describe how it has been… Against a genuine speedster, Misbah-ul-Haq’s courageous attempt to scoop the ball down to fine leg might have been a four or even a six.

But, with Joginder Sharma offering no pace to work with, it was an attempt packed with risk… As the Indians enchanted in the sheer joy of their achievement, Misbah sat on his haunches in incredulity – the defiant sailor who had evaded the high tides only to be sunk as the dock came into view.

Coming into the championship as no-hopers, it took a mere 14 days for Dhoni’s Devils to transcend their game into an unmatchable one. Barring the loss to New Zealand, the men in blue played a game only champions have the know-how of. Well, the amazingly successful tournament is over, leaving the spectators asking for more… the question now arises – what next for Mahi and co?

A sense of fearlessness… a joyous sensation every time a teammate tasted success… the never ending self-belief… surely… as Sachin put it at the end of it all… the team looks in good hands. However, with history firmly against them, the side will have to fight against all odds in the coming couple of months to get rid of the ‘inconsistent’ tag. Will this remain a one-off success triggered by a series of inspirational performances, or will it actually open the doors to sustained excellence for the team. Whatever happens, there is no doubt about the fact that this is an excellent opportunity for India to take this as the launch pad for the future.

It was heartening to see the reception the Indians got from the Mumbai masses. But, one shouldn’t fall into the trap of sluggishness and remember that by winning the World Twenty20, the Indians haven’t become no.1. That mantle still belongs to Australia, and rightly so. The coming ODI’s against the Aussies and arch rivals Pakistan promise to enthrall. India have got the momentum going their way and with proper planning and execution, they can ensure that this energy takes them a long way…

Aman Kapoor