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India’s T20 victory is gloriously special

India’s T20 victory is gloriously special

India displayed that missing trait and emerged champions--it was evident in Jasprit Bumrah’s celestial bowling, Suryakumar Yadav’s nerveless catching, and Rohit Sharma’s unflinching belief in his instincts.

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Last Updated : 30 June 2024, 23:04 IST
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Rahul Dravid may not be a great believer in redemption, but sport, like life, presents delightful moments of redemption every now and then. It was during the 2007 50-over World Cup, under his captaincy, that India experienced their biggest disappointment in their cricketing history -- being knocked out from the group stage in the Caribbean. While it is unlikely that that hurt will ever heal completely, the T20 World Cup, which India won by beating South Africa on a hot Saturday afternoon in the Caribbean, does a great deal to assuage that wounded pride. He may not admit it, but his celebrations did. Of course, it is not just about Dravid, who was on extension till the end of the event. It was more about India and their passionate fans who had suffered so many heartbreaks over the last 11 years. 

Since their triumph at the 2013 Champions Trophy, India had reached the knockouts of eight global ICC events, across formats. While they were ousted in the semifinals in three tournaments, they finished second-best in the remaining five. No team, not even Australia and England who won three and two titles respectively during that phase, had shown comparable levels of consistency. The missing trophy, however, had put a question mark over the Indian team’s greatness.

There was never a doubt about their talent, but sport is as much about skill as it is about fortitude. India displayed that missing trait and emerged champions--it was evident in Jasprit Bumrah’s celestial bowling, Suryakumar Yadav’s nerveless catching, and Rohit Sharma’s unflinching belief in his instincts. What about Hardik Pandya? The man who was vilified for two months in the course of the IPL and whose frame of mind was obviously a concern, turned out to be one of India’s crucial cogs in their wheel of victory.  

Again, while this euphoria belongs to Team India, it is hard not to enjoy individual glories. Be it Sachin Tendulkar’s moment in India’s 50-over World Cup win in 2011 or Lionel Messi’s moment in Argentina’s FIFA World Cup victory in 2022, sport at the highest level is as much about a team’s achievements as about personal milestones. In that sense, it was poignant to see the curtains come down on the glorious T20 careers of Kohli and Rohit after several ‘so near yet so far’ episodes. The Indian team will never feature these two greats again in the shortest format, but together they have given us memories to cherish for a long time. Finally, India needed this win for more than one reason and, not surprisingly, there are brazen attempts and insinuations to discredit it, but they are nothing more than sour grapes. This Indian team has moved on from seeking validation from the ‘imperials’.  

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