We Indians are an emotional lot! We are quite vocal, have very strong views about cricket, about our players and about every little thing associated with cricket.
Having won the 2011 ICC World Cup, the pressure on the team, carrying the expectations and hopes of 1.2 billion people, can only be imagined. The excitement in the country is palpable. Retailers & brands are probably torn between promoting Valentine’s Day and the ICC World Cup, especially on day one.
Inside each home, cable connections are being checked, schedules are being matched with fixtures. People are probably trying to complete important assignments at work so as to keep their schedules relatively free to watch the matches.
I can imagine the scene in each Indian house – the whole family before the TV, the mom supplying a constant stream of samosas, pakodas, tea & coffee. I can imagine neighbours from one block, all gathering in one house to watch the India- matches, yummy food from each house, lots of chips and drinks. Boisterous yelling, whooping, unblinking eyes,collective sighing and a billion hearts palpitating. I can imagine the curses and yells of frustration, when a power cut happens during a crucial match.
I can see boys, girls & men wearing the same T-shirt they wore the last time round, for good luck. I can see people who stood up in the last World Cup, when a wicket fell, and who then continued to stand till the end of the match, for fear that a change in their posture would alter the outcome of the match. Will these people stand through all matches that India will play for this World Cup too?
I can imagine people talking cricket, walking cricket, breathing cricket and arguing cricket endlessly. Cricket is the pulse of the nation after all.
And as 1.2 billion hearts pulse in unison the refrain, “India, India, India, India”, my heart pulses with them, as I wish the Men in Blue the very best.
Good luck, Team India.