Tuesday, May 23rd

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ICC World Cup Champions

World cup championsCongratulations Team India!! What a victory it was!! You made Indians around the globe feel very proud. Hats off to all of you!
ICC WC Finals:
Defeating Sri Lanka, the team that is most familiar with the sub-continent’s playing conditions, after they won the toss , after they posted a challenging total with their batting power-play fireworks and after they picked up top 2 wickets early on, wasn’t a piece of cake. But the Indian team showed lot of character under tremendous pressure of a nation’s expectations; even after losing the swashbuckling Sehwag and our greatest cricketing icon Sachin, who was in top form in the series, early in the innings.
It was truly an all-round effort. The fielding was electrifying, especially that of Yuvi and Raina who must have saved 15 to 20 runs diving left and right!!  Zaheer’s opening spell, with hardly any runs coming out of his first 5 or 6 overs meant SL couldn’t to a blazing start which could have led to a bigger target to chase.  And yet again, Zaheer provided the breakthrough in the middle to retain his go to man cap. When it came to batting, young lads Ghambir and Kohli not only absorbed the pressure of losing 2 early wickets but they also kept scoring at a steady rate, built a solid partnership and made sure SL had no chance to get back into the game.  What I like about Ghambir is that he keeps the scoreboard ticking without hitting big shots and without anyone noticing it. Kohli, I think is the youngest lad in the squad but he has been in tremendous form both before the WC and during the WC. Once a captain of the U-19 world cup championship team, he seems to have great talent.
Dhoni finally delivered with the bat and it couldn’t have come at a better time; when he promoted himself, got a big knock and a big partnership.  As the most successful Indian captain and as a great leader he deserved the big winning shot of 6 and the cup of course.  Yuvi chipped in to make sure no more wickets fell which would have given SL some fire in the belly to get back into the game. 
Exceptional achievements during the ICC event:
Sachin, by being the 2nd highest run getter during the course event stamped his significant contribution to the dream cup of his life and continued the tremendous form that he has been in during the last few years.  Zaheer, by sharing the top spot for most wickets lived up to the leading and go to bowler tag. Yuvi, by contributing in every game with the bat and/or ball truly exhibited an all-rounder role which was a welcome surprise to many because of his recent form. Although Yuvi didn’t steal the limelight as the man who hit six sixers, he did so as a matured player and was rewarded with 4 man-of-match awards and aslo the man-of-series award. 
While Dhoni rightly recognized the contributions of Sachin, Ganguly, Kumble and Dravid over the years to build the team of today, there is much to be said about Dhoni’s exemplary leadership itself.  T20 world championship, IPL championship and now one-day the world championship in such a short span of time shows his excellence as a captain.  Last but not the least, we must not forget Gary Kirsten as a great coach; he will definitely be missed but what a great time for him to leave the Indian cricket team’s coaching  job when it’s flying high in both formats of the game.  I am in a dilemma to wish him the best in his future coaching job for another country if he takes up one. I suppose I am just being selfish for my own country’s continued glory, and why not??
I sign-off wishing Team India to be leaders in both test and 1-day formats of cricket for a long time to come!!