Cricket: The Wisdom Within The ‘Never To Be Forgotten’ India Win

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‘Ever failed in life? Maybe a business, a relationship, a promotion. Ever felt that the world with all its eternal powers is trying to prevent you from achieving what only you believe is your destiny? Well, we all have been there and if not, it is inevitable that we all will feel that burden at some point in our lives’ writes sports columnist, Mohnish Rajan, from Melbourne. He then goes on to analyze what it takes to be a winner… and how India did it against Australia at the recent Test Match at The Gabba. 

Here are 11 men and the support staff with stories of their own. A bowler who decided not to see his new-born child and another one decided not to attend his beloved father’s funeral, a rickshaw driver who probably sacrificed it all to see his son play test cricket for India and when he does, he is not there to witness it. Well, such is life and when there is such pain out there it must humble us to introspect and ask ourselves one question, do we really have the right to complain? 

Most of my learnings about life have come through experiences, making bad decisions, and sport. Yes, sport, an emotion that unites religions, race, and countries. In this world where impatience seems to be a virtue of the popular kids, the essence of Test cricket seems to have been lost. Who has the time to watch real skill, patience, execution, failure, triumph, team spirit, grit, and determination take center stage when you can watch bowlers get pummelled in T20 cricket? Strange world we live in.  

Every life skill that you will ever need to be happy and successful was displayed with elegant flamboyance by team India. A team without its superstar captain and all, but a select few, of its first-choice players injured. What would you term the determination displayed by Rahane at the Boxing Day Test, captaining a broken side who were rolled over for a miserly 36 runs in the previous game, or Ashwin and Vihari’s grit in Sydney or sheer bravery displayed by the entire team at The Gabba where the lead bowler had the experience of a total of two matches? Well, what this impatient world is oblivious to, is the mental strength you gain by deciding not to bid farewell to your father. These are superpowers and no worldly force stands a chance against it. So for anyone hurting, always remember to make the hard choices and put up a fight. There is no better sight than seeing an underdog fight with all their strength. 

The Indian bowlers had taken a total of 13 wickets before this test match, Australia had not lost at The Gabba since 1988, the Aussie crowds are as unforgiving as their pace attack but my heart brims with joy at the fact that there is still room for grit and determination, such is the magic of test cricket. Pujara was hit eleven times during his innings, battered and bruised he carried on, a metaphor of his team’s performance in this series.  

To anyone who says that test cricket is dying, I disagree, it is our patience that is dying and this is reflected in a lot of the test players around the world, hence, the drop in quality of players and the interest in test cricket. 

Australia did not lose to a better side, they lost to sheer bravery. Bravery is stern but never arrogant and hence, presenting Nathan Lyon with a signed jersey for his 100th test was an extension of the character displayed by the Indian team on the field. I am also thrilled that people can now never say sheer bravery and magic exists only on the big screen and in novels written by some lady called J.K Rowling.  I hope people realize you don’t need to be exceptional to win at life, you just need to be brave.  

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About the Author

Mohnish Rajan
Sports Columnist