World Cup 2023: An Open Letter To Team India
Dear Team India,
It was a day riddled with agony and heartbreaks and truth be told, the expectations were much higher, and obviously way more different than what proved to be the reality. But then with that being said, who would have even thought that a perfect 10 would someday adorn India? Well, wonders happen, and so do woes. Miracles take shape, and so does despair. But if there is one thing that should remain constant is that the fight will live on.
Dear Rohit Sharma,
A captain leads the path and you do that with a smile. Well, they say that uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. And you made it look so easy with that effervescent smile of yours. Those sixes that you would launch to Mars, those classic drives and vicious pulls, my word, skipper, if there is one phrase that fits you perfectly, is Walt Whitman’s “Captain, my Captain.”
Dear Virat Kohli,
Need we say more about our King? Of course, we do. Even a moment of silence feels deafening and this was your year, King. Your year, we said? Well, we feel that every year has been your year. Consistency has been your other name and greatness has been your breakfast for an eternity. When the struggles get hard, you get going. Quoting Shakespeare and tweaking it ever so slightly, “There are more things in heaven and earth, ‘a whole Virat Kohli for instance’, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
Dear Mohammed Shami,
Who would have thought that coming midway in a tournament, someone could finish as the leading wicket-taker? Guess what, you were never much of a conformist, were you? Defying norms, cartwheeling stumps and leading bowling attacks for an eternity has been your day job. No matter the odds, no matter the defiance, you fight and you fight fiercely. No matter the opposition, you would still keep on hurling yourself at them, day in and day out. No matter the restraints, no matter how many lemons life throws at you, you would turn them into lemonade and sip on them with your eyes set on the timbre once again.
Dear Shubman Gill,
They say that dawn shows the day. Well, we are not sure of how true that is because then India should have lifted the cup yesterday but seeing you bat is definitely the red dawn for the Indian cricket team. A dawn that brings hope, belief and most importantly the understanding that the future is in safe hands, in your hands, prince. Keep on making us proud.
Dear Shreyas Iyer,
One bad day doesn’t define what you cooked in the tournament. You were launching bowlers for fun. Those coming-down-the-track signature lofts over the bowlers’ heads, those cheeky inside-out hits, those ginormous bat swings that would send the ball crashing into orbit, need we say more?
Dear KL Rahul,
You know we believe that versatility should have been your middle name. Adaptability has been your niche and you nailed it dead to rights. Even on a surface that was spewing venom, you made batting look easy. Whether firing on all cylinders or holding the fort for dear life, you gave us hope that the Indian middle-order is in the safest pair of hands.
Dear Suryakumar Yadav,
When the tournament started, there were too many questions on whether you should have been a part of the India. Guess what, now everyone knows why you should be one. The finisher with cannons for hands, the batter with the most unorthodox batting style in the world and yet those boundaries come so effortlessly that it’s hard to figure out whether physics bends to your laws or whether are you a being from a different dimension. Just saying, you know.
Dear Jasprit Bumrah,
We heard rumours that you were finished and there’s no coming back for you. And then you pulled off a “sweet dreams are made of this, who am I to disagree”! Coming back from a stress fracture and that too not once but twice, you simply slaughtered the oppositions as if they never existed. Even the bare minimum hope that we had in the finale, was because of you. No matter what the end result is, the world will still be very scared of you.
Dear Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav,
We are sorry that we are mentioning you together but how can Butch and Sundance be separated? How can the sunset and the horizon be two separate entities? Similarly, every time, you two came together and there were shivers going down the spine of the opposition. You would find a wicket somehow and that would be the first step of unravelling the Pandora’s box. Actually, you forced it open. We will not forget, in fact, we can’t.
Dear Mohammed Siraj,
It’s okay Miyan, this was not one of those extravagant spells that could have set you alight in a blaze of brilliance. But you see, cricket is a game of the highest highs and the lowest lows. And if you are kissing the mountain peaks, similarly, you should also be prepared to curl up in the base camps. Salman Rushdie said, “To be born again, you must die” and you are already taking gigantic leaps towards glory. Be patient, Miyan. We know what you are capable of and we know that we will see you roaring back to your majestic best in no time.
Now dear rest of the team,
You may not have been a part of the tournament in entirety but your presence was equally flamboyant and no matter what we say, that should not suffice. Hardik Pandya, injuries don’t scare you. No matter what, you come back. And we can’t wait for you to return. Ash, you will still be our very own magician, no matter what the world has to say, we still know what you are capable of. Ishan, this was just the beginning. There will be an eternity to roll.
Thank you, team India, for everything. Thank you everyone. Thank you, fans, for making this a very special journey. We will come back stronger than ever.