Variety

Incredible India Bleeds Blue

Gokul Krishnamurthy Mumbai | Updated on April 07, 2011 Published on March 30, 2011

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Office goers are wishing for epic encounters of the Indo-Pak (cricket) variety everyday. The roads are commutable, there are empty seats on trains, and there is palpable excitement in the air. Even as ad campaigns borrow from the everyday occurrence of ‘Score kya hai', we see cricket camaraderie happening across the city streets, and we're sure it's being experienced across the country too, in innumerable ways.

One raging debate is that Sachin Tendulkar's getting out before scoring his 100{+t}{+h} century, after living dangerously with four ‘lives' on 27, 45, 70 and 81, is actually good for the team. A section of fans is insisting that when he scores a 100, the Indian team does not go on to win.

We haven't checked the stats ourselves, but someone is quick to point out that this is factually wrong, with Sachin's centuries leading to Indian victories close to 60 per cent of the time. The intent is not to get the stats right here, but to derive delight from the many, many conversations that the game of cricket creates.

Ashish Nehra's inclusion and Ravichandran Ashwin's exclusion in the Indian squad for the semis has been another subject of hot debate from even before the start of the Indian innings. Nehra will have to justify Dhoni's trust in him when India defends its total, or Sidhu will have both of them for breakfast.

There are other conversations underway, like the one on what will happen to Mumbai if India goes on to the finals – which will be known by the time this is read. If India does not, then the Pakistanis will play Sri Lanka in Mumbai – another spicy recipe for a World Cup final.

And, in either case, the police establishment in the city that supposedly never sleeps will lose sleep for a few nights. Only, in this case, one wonders if too many of them will be complaining. At least the fans won't be, even more so if India enters the final. The icing on the trophy would be Dhoni holding it on April 2.

Whether or not India enters the finals, and whether or not it goes on to win the finals, the Indian cricket team and its representatives like Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni are beholders of public trust. Which is why, the nation is bleeding blue this Wednesday.

And no Indian politician would get away with vituperation on the men in blue throwing away the match.

Published on March 30, 2011
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