When Gentlemen Play to Win


When Gentlemen Play to Win

Swapnil Bharali | January 23, 2021 21:58 hrs

The moment was so great, so enormous that most of us were at loss for words. The enormity of the achievement is yet to sink in for many of us. The puffed chest with the many inches added to it would not get deflated for a long time. A second-string India indeed banged Australia so hard at what is termed as their fortress – the Gabba at Brisbane – that the victory gave us a chance to explore those special human emotions that make us Indians the true cricket fans that we are. 

As a newsman, I explored almost the whole of the internet searching for the best headlines that would tell the after-tale of the win. The witty and very sporting Australian media savoured the occasion to roast the home team while raising a toast to the match-winner Rishabh Pant. “Pantsed” screamed a massive headline on the cover page of a leading Australian daily and I thought that was just brilliant. And yet an Indian national newspaper said it best, “No words for a headline,” and this just about reflected our dumbstruck happiness.

As a cricket fan, while I couldn’t take my eyes off the TV for long - even after the post-match presentations were done - the creativity of the Indian Diaspora in Brisbane was just brilliant to watch. The special song composed for Rishabh Pant and sung in chorus at the Gabba was simply delightful. “I don’t think you understand/He will hit you for a six/He will babysit your kids/We’ve got Rishaaab Paaant!” Among many indulges that the Indian cricket fan was allowed by our cricket team that day, this was creatively the best.

As a patriot, it was a proud moment being an Indian and the fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was instantaneous in tweeting his congratulatory message to the team made for a joyous occasion for all Indians around the world. While the victory did allow our cricketers to go simply berserk with their celebration, the sedate manner in which they soaked in the victory, that measured victory lap around the stadium and the almost sombre moment at the presentation ceremony when Captain Ajinkya gifted Aussie, Nathan Lyon, a team-autographed jersey to commemorate the latter’s 100th test match indeed showed how the gentlemen’s game could be played and won without the loudness of Aussie sledging.

Thanks Team India for an awesome series. And thanks for your gentlemanliness!

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