On the wings of a prayer

We are almost there, aren’t we? The special pages in newspapers make it very much obvious every morning. Twenty days to go, 19 days to go, 18 days to go... Can’t feel the excitement yet?

Blame it on team India. A Test series that was surrendered quickly and a triangular series with little success have resulted in our hopes being pegged at a low level.

Bear in mind though, we are the defending champions and as the promotionals would tell you, we are in no mood to give it back.

Team India has been on the road for two months but still, barring a clutch of defiant knocks from a couple of individuals in Test matches, there is little to show for the efforts so far.

With not even a single win under their belt on this tour, can India turn it around in time for the World Cup? No, says the mind; yes, says the heart.

An opening batsman who specialises in edging the ball to the slips or the ’keeper, a middle-order that hasn’t inspired confidence and a set of bowlers who has forgotten the basics – a combination that just doesn’t inspire confidence. Add to that, injuries that seem to come at the wrong time.

Around the world, big bats are booming. In South Africa, world record for the quickest ODI century has been blasted to smithereens by that wondrous talent called AB de Villiers.

The New Zealanders are marching on, finding match-winners at every turn. And the Australians seem to be finding the right man for the job at the drop of a hat, be it Sydney, Melbourne or Hobart.

Have they peaked a little too early, are we waiting for the call of ‘play’ to pull ourselves together? When the time comes, will all the pieces fall into place?

A repeat performance from M S Dhoni’s men indeed rests on the wings of hope. And on the same wings, we too journey Down Under, in a little over two weeks’ time. On the wings of hope, with a prayer or two on our lips.

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