Even for a lesser cricket fan like me, the win on Saturday night was something to savour. The way it was done was amazing. It brought back memories of me as a cricket-crazy 16-year-old watching India’s 1983 win on TV, and it banished memories of another final 8 years ago when we got thrashed by Australia. The defining moment of Indian cricket and spirit for the next few years will now be defined by the night of April 2, 2011.
Like some, with India’s openers back in the pavilion, I too had given up hope. But this Indian team is unlike many in the past. With a captain willing to lead from the front, make bold decisions and take responsibility for the consequences, there is a self-belief and confidence that belies the age of the youngsters in the team.
A generation ago, Kapil Dev’s team came from nowhere to win. This time, Dhoni’s team withstood the intense pressure to justify the favourites tag. There is no greater stage – and no greater pressure cooker situation – than playing at home in a World Cup final. Saturday night was an exemplary lesson for anyone watching in leadership, courage and teamwork.