MSD, we love you

The fearful trip is done! Not really. In this case, it has probably only just begun. After an enviable trot of oh-so-cool victories, and bend your unusual strategies, MSD has faltered at the altar of the sacred World Cup, even if it is only the T20. And the proverbial knives are out. Effigies are being burnt, tactics are being dissected and his every move is under the microscope for hidden motives. Nothing new for India and maybe nothing new for Captain D. Remember his house had been attacked, his effigies burnt and one hears, even a half-constructed swimming pool had faced the ire of the vandals some years ago.
But having been a close Dhoni watcher for well over 24 months now (I must confess the Jharkhand uncut diamond missed my eye in his earlier Goliath days), I have noticed the droop in the shoulder, the fatigue in the eye, the desperate - ‘everything is okay’ tone in his words when actions belie his speak. His cautious approach to any ‘not mandatory’ media interaction perchance hides his worry about ‘blurting’ the truth and his irritation at the infamous press conference speaks volumes about his indignation at having to face the brunt of a valued colleague’s white lie, may be!

But give him and the Indian team a break. Haven’t they earned their stripes? T20 ’07, Commonwealth Bank Series 08, Sri Lanka in two different one-dayer series and Australia in Tests, the trouncing of the Brits and even a whitewashing of the Kiwis on their home turf.

Here is a leader who has led from the front -- series after series on the trot. Captaincy, wicket keeping, sheet anchoring. Here is a team burdened with the aspirations and vicarious hopes of a billion minds. Seasoned HR executives will tell you how even tough employee satisfaction feedback can be overcome when the Indian cricket team is on a winning high and how despondence seeps into even the most engaged employee’s mind when the cricket team falters. My husband and I, inveterate champions of Team India, are no strangers to the free floating depression that invariably follows an evening of an Indian low! So what if the fire in the eye glowed just a little less brightly for once, the knees wobbled a bit when chasing a desperate dream, the mind wandered gently in choosing the right batting order. Isn’t it unfair to strip them of those stripes just now?
Give them a break -- literally and figuratively. These are our boys, our heroes, the ones who help a nation forget a million other woes. Give them a hand, a shoulder to lay their heads on and wipe away the little tear that forms at the edge of a fearless but emotional eye.
Captain D and Team India - don’t worry. We keep faith with you!

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