157 more runs: Team India are on the cusp of sketching history. Yes, these are the number of runs Virat Kohli’s boys need to go up 1-0 in the five-match Test series against Joe Root’s England at Trent Bridge.
As the two overnight batsmen Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara walk out to resume the second innings, they would do well to take a leaf from the outstanding 11th hour performances by some of India’s Olympians in Tokyo. Surprised? You could be but there is no shilly-shallying out here.
When Kapil Dev’s men shocked the indomitable West Indians to win India’s maiden World Cup in 1983, it was a game-changer inspiring innumerable aspiring sportspersons (not just cricketers) to stand tall no matter how inclement the circumstances were. We still bask in that victory.
Now, it’s the other way around. The cricketers worshipped as demi-Gods in the country, must seek that aha moment from our seven medal winners (our best in the history of the event) in Tokyo.
Neeraj Chopra (gold), Mirabai Chanu and Ravi Dahiya (silver), Indian men’s hockey team, Lovlina Bargohain, Bajrang Punia and PV Sindhu (bronze) have laid the path for a future that behoves drawing lessons from them and eyeing global milestones. If patriotism runs high in your veins, make no mistake about it.
It may be true that our fare at the Olympics has been par below on several fronts – there has been despondency, yet the turnaround as the event drew close is worth a laud. Facing adverse conditions, the Chopras and Sindhus have brought laurels to the nation bereft of succes at the highest level.
For Kohli and company, the loss against New Zealand at the inaugural ICC Test Championship final raised questions: the choking factor just when it matters came into play yet again throwing them under a barrage of innuendoes. So, the Trent Bridge Test provides a platform to Team India to prove their disparager renounce their censorious attitude.
Kicking off a series outside the sub-continent with a win sets the ball rolling and the victorious team has an edge over its formidable opponents. The Kohli(s) are almost there, sensible batting will see them through but they need to hold their nerves till the end.
They have the support of millions back home including the proud owners of the seven Olympic medals – let the victorious run not come to a halt. Recall their valiant efforts and come up trumps, our men in whites!
Come on India!