Bikash Singh

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Bikash still thinks cricket's a gentleman's game. And that our batsmen run away with most of the prizes.

They came, saw and won the Cup

The feeling hasn't sunk in just yet...

 

Yuvraj's arms were spread wide before skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni clouted that six which had 'India are the World Cup champions' written all over it. The whole nation erupted, some emotional and some over the moon. Social networking sites connected many together on Saturday night as Team India gifted them with a feeling which even Sachin couldn't describe. My colleague Princy James wrote with a disclaimer "this euphoric feeling is crazy. If someone says I love you, I might reply back love you too dude!" Nice aye...

 

After Sehwag and Sachin got out, I thought 275 would need some serious chasing and then I saw Rajinikanth.

 

The 28-year long wait was over and like they had promised earlier, Indian players gifted Sachin Tendulkar the World Cup he had been chasing for 21 years. They carried him high on their shoulders - with crowd going wild in excitement at Wankhede. Youngster Virat Kohli, one of the players carrying Sachin said, "he has carried India on his shoulders for 21 years, so it was the least we could do." Wow!

 

Sri Lankan players, runners-up in the 2007 World Cup as well, stood dejected on the sidelines as India continued with their victory lap - this time the all-important Gary Kirsten was enjoying the ride.

 

This has to be the most exciting World Cup ever where two deserving teams met in the final full of twists and turns. The battle was evenly matched with India upping the ante from the very beginning. Their fielding would have made Jonty Rhodes proud while they bowled their hearts out. The body language was staggeringly staggering...Zaheer Khan's first over banished all the bad memories of 2003 - where his first over said almost everything.

 

Dhoni can do wrong, can he? The dude would have had a lot of explaining to do if the result went otherwise on Saturday night. Daring he is, Dhoni led from the front picking Sreesanth instead of Ashwin and the ploy worked. Lankans were so busy going after the temperamental pacer that they lost count of others. Angelo Matthews' ouster just before the final disrupted the team's rhythm somewhat and un-calmed the cup of tea. The shrewd in Dhoni was keeping a close eye - he could see a crack in the cookie.

 

India's success had not come overnight. The process started four years ago (actually with Sourav Ganguly...who made them realise we belong there) when Gary Kirsten took over from Australian Greg Chappell. The South African, who does not prefer to be in the limelight, worked hard on the players' mental strength and fitness during his glorious journey. Under Gary, India climbed to the No.1 spot in Tests, No.2 in ODIs and in his last match won India the World Cup. "We've had incredible support but for me the credit goes to the players," gracious Gary said. As much as we want him to stay, Kirsten has family commitments.

 

For India, it was revenge from the beginning. They had Bangladesh waiting in the opening match of the World Cup with the hope of repeating the famous win over India in 2007 in the Caribbean. However, Sehwag murdered them with a savage knock of 175 runs for a sweet revenge. India had some anxious moments before facing Australia in the quarter-finals. The men in blue ended the Aussies' reign as the defending champions - also avenging their 2003 final humiliation to set up a semi-final showdown against arch-rivals Pakistan. The whole nation came to a stand-still for the blockbuster clash between the sub-continents giants which India won by 29 runs. Dhoni's men then gave a fitting end to the ICC tournament and made Dean Jones eat his words.

 

Favourites India hunted in a pack the whole tournament. Everybody in that squad made significant contributions to be fittingly crowned as the best team in the showpiece. The world champions, under immense pressure, achieved their dream without being too cute.

 

On a lighter note: In future, political dignitaries will think twice before accepting an invitation to watch a match in India.

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