• Watching Gary Kirsten take the victory lap around the Wankhede stadium and being hoisted on to the shoulders of the Indian players who displayed their affection for the affable South African in no uncertain terms I immediately thought of Greg Chappell. Was he watching this back home in Australia? Did it rekindle memories of that disastrous campaign four years ago in the Caribbean when he was the autocratic coach?

    What a difference a more amiable coach makes! From the moment he took over charge of the Indian team more than three years ago Kirsten made all the right moves. Over more than 1100 days there was no let-up in this direction and the result is there for all to see, gape and admire. The No 1 ranked Test team in the world, the No 2 ranked ODI team, a number of notable triumphs in all formats of the game and a level of performance much higher than ever before. It was Kirsten who installed the sense of self belief in the players and made them mentally strong and this has culminated

    Read More »from The man behind Indian cricket’s renaissance
  • There are certain incidents that make even the greats break down, and Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar experienced one such moment and shed tears of joy at the Wankhede Stadium on April 2, 2011, when India defeated Sri Lanka in the 2011 World Cup final to be crowned world champions.

    This was a long-awaited moment for Tendulkar, who was playing in his sixth and probably his last World Cup, and for all the records and benchmarks he has set during his illustrious international career, which is now into its 22nd year, the disappointment of not being part of a World Cup winning squad had always rankled the batting maestro. The last time India reached the final of a World Cup – in the 2003 edition against Australia – Tendulkar failed in a massive chase as India was thumped by 125 runs. What happened to India in 2007 is a painful chapter that has been recounted many times over and Tendulkar felt the disappointment of the premature exit as much or more as the next player.

    But, since then, the

    Read More »from Tendulkar fulfills his World Cup destiny
  • The cynics outnumbered the believers. The decibel notes from the critics were getting noisier and more vocal. Dean Jones came up with his now classic prediction: "India winning the World Cup? Tell Dhoni he is dreaming." He reckoned that with the bowling and fielding they had the Indians had no chance of winning. It was a view that was shared by a number of others.

     

    And yet when it all ended six weeks after it started the World Cup was India's. Yes, the same team that didn't seem to have a chance because of their weakness in bowling and fielding emerged champions and Dhoni was able to join Kapil Dev. The legendary cricketer had complained more than once that it was lonely at the top and longed to have company. Now he has someone worthy to share the pedestal with him.

     

    Self belief is one of the most enduring of all qualities when it comes to sport. Yes, Dhoni was dreaming of winning the World Cup along with Sachin Tendulkar and several other players. There is nothing wrong with

    Read More »from Dhoni and co dared to dream

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