We live in a time of instant gratification, extremely bad exaggeration and recency bias, so it’s a pleasure to say that winning the India series in Australia was their biggest achievement in the history of playing a great game. It is not uncommon for history to emerge despite the fact, but the way India’s Ajinkya Rahane team overcame injuries, injuries, gun attacks and all that was involved in taking the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2-1 was a thing of the past.
It is often said that you learn more about defeat than victory, but here is an example where even a victory shines brightly on the good gains the Indian team has made, the quick steps it has taken and the stars born in a 20-day planned cricket tournament.
Rohit at home, far away
When he went out to open the scoring in the Test match for the first time overseas, there were big questions about whether he had the chops to do the job. For years it has been said that he is so good at beating that he can be left out of 11 by any means. However, despite being a colossus at home, the test runs did not escape him. With all the other doors seemingly closed, Rohit was dragged to the top of the order.
Returning to injury, untested in home cricket, Rohit was simultaneously relieved at the crease. A good reading of the new moving ball and the attack that asked all the possible questions – stitch, swing, speed, bump and spin Rohit made the opening position his own.
There is life beyond Kohli
Virat Kohli may be the best mediator of all kinds in the world right now, and he is one of the greatest of all time, but there is a life beyond him. Despite his mistake, Kohli draws attention when he is on the cricket field. Whether you’re applauding or punching on the field, all eyes are on King Kohli.
When he was released on the fourth of four tests in the series, there was a rare opportunity for all other Indian players to express themselves freely. This was a time when it was the first, second and last group. While there were some amazing individual performances throughout the series, it was a great team. The result is there for everyone to see.
Service with a smile
With Kohli out of the game, the Indian team seemed to be under record in terms of its behavior on the pitch. Rahane, a man with a few words at the best of times, put down the mark with an innings of pure innocence and character in the Melbourne Test match.
He told the opposition team that his team meant business and more importantly gave his teammates the belief that they could put runs on the board even if the big man was not there. In all of that, Rahane had a smile on her face, even though Rishabh Pant was bringing home a tense group at the end of the series. Not all the wise boys were rude, and not all the rude people were as strong as Rahan.
Stories of experience, but there is a depth of youth
Indian cricket has always been good looking at its first 11 cricket. The men playing for India have all the resources, support from the authorities and the endless love of many fans in this game. But, traditionally, this love stands there. Home cricket is considered a poor cousin and catering programs – trips to India A and the National Cricket Academy – were paid for by word of mouth.
However, since Rahul Dravid’s appointment as head coach in these key roles, there has been a focus and gravitas on the lower divisions of the national team. Also, when the injury continued to come, India was able to absorb the beating and not be knocked down because the replacements did not just believe they were good enough, they knew they had put them in hard yards to be of the highest standard.
Love the game, with wins and defeats
This was the most watched Test series in recent memory. And it probably didn’t happen. The great effort made by Cricket Australia and both teams in getting the games down is worth remembering, given the times we live in. Through this series, stadiums have allowed teams to play cricket that could not just be challenged. You really couldn’t take your eyes off the ball, as a spectator.
To put this in perspective, think of all the little things that drew you to this game. A cold snowball of young Shubman Gill who started to play well, Ravindra Jadeja a direct hit that kept India in the game, Hanuma Vihari slowed down which tarnished Australia’s image. Cricket is not all about fours and sixes.
It’s not about watching a pack of highlights and boasting when your team wins, it’s about being introduced to a game that is a simulation of life itself, and enjoying it. Sports, when played like this, are not about anger or rage or winning or losing, but it is about returning to the joy of playing with joy and freedom. Enjoy this.