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It ain't over until it's over in this T20 World Cup

Virat Kohli continues to amaze fans. (AFP PHOTO/ PUNIT PARANJPE)
Roar Pro
28th March, 2016
1

My heartiest congratulations to India on qualifying for the semis of the T20 World Cup.

Now we exit the round-robin stage and enter the knock-out phase.

Next stop, a battle with the Windies in Mumbai, arguably the cricket capital of a nation where cricket is a religion. The West Indies’ reliance on Chris Gayle means India enter the game as favourites.

An avid cricket fan of Team India, I am happy with their performance in the tournament so far, and hope that they win the coveted cup. Though resurgent and with considerable momentum after Monday morning’s win, I will hold my Champagne until the team actually lifts the trophy.

As baseball legend Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over until it’s over.” If we get pass the Windies hurdle, our next likely opponent would be New Zealand, who comprehensibly beat us earlier in the tournament.

With hope comes tremendous expectation. Sports fans are known to be highly emotional, our reactions in defeat and victory often bordering on immaturity.

In India, it’s not unusual for the houses of our heroes to be stoned and effigies burnt following a defeat. Yuvraj Singh and Ravi Shastri are two players who have been on the receiving end of such extreme reactions to a loss. Should India fail to win the tournament, it won’t take long for some fans to switch from bouquets to brickbats.

As a cautionary note, we should not forget our dependency on Virat Kohli, the glue of the team, who reminds me of Sachin Tendulkar in his heyday. Kohli is treated as a god, and idolised by Indians.

But even gods are known to fail.

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There are still chinks in the armour in our batting, our bowling department woes aren’t over, and a couple of poor overs can change the direction of a T20 cricket match.

There has been a significant amount of mocking of the Australian team after their failure to make the knock-out phase, but this is not our final ever encounter with the Aussies. What goes around comes around. Also, as of right now, Australia have a far more decorated cricketing history than we do.

Australia, a nation with one-sixtieth the population of India, has competed and thrived in World Cups of football, hockey and rugby, produced world-class athletes, swimmers and tennis players. The country has hosted the Olympics more than once, and is always towards the top of the medal tally at the Games.

They also play cricket. A great sporting team deserves a sporting sent off, due credit should be given where credit is due. By mocking them, we are making a mockery of ourselves