Sports and nation are two different words but in reality sports in a country is like oxygen for humans. Sport is something that unites an entire nation, it is something that at one instance gives the high of happiness and at another the lows of disappointment, beyond anything it gives HOPE. Sport teaches the nation to hope that if you lose one day you can get up to win the next day, it teaches us to hope to live for a better tomorrow. Let’s look at how India had a mixed bag of highs and lows in different sporting arenas and what is in-stored in the future for us a sporting nation.
RELIGION OF THE NATION – CRICKET
Let us start with the fact that for the first time after 1996, an Indian team is playing a test match where none of the Fabulous Four (Sachin, Dravid, Sourav and VVS Laxman) of Indian cricket are playing. Yes the Indian team is without the big four after the retirement of the nation’s favourite cricketing son, Sachin Tendulkar, in 2013. That this time would come everybody knew, but that the first such test would be a hostile territory was something that was not expected. India is playing in South Africa, and South Africa has never been happy hunting ground for Indians.
The question was always asked, will the flamboyant youngsters be able to replace these stalwarts, and it was always going to be a big task to replace the legends. It was time that these youngsters had to raise their hands and get counted. Honestly the performance of this team has not been wee bit disappointing and that too in the longer format of the game. Players like Virat Kohli and Cheteswar Pujara have shown they have it in them to replace the big guns, their attitude and performance has shown that they have the skill and desire to continue the legacy of the big names. Will they be able to sustain the same level for humungous lengths of time is another question but right now we can say Indian batting is in safe hands.
India will travel to New Zealand in 2014 for a bilateral series after the tour of South Africa, where the Kiwis are generally good on their home turf and they will have a point to prove themselves before the 2015 Cricket World Cup, as they are the co-hosts of the mega event. The wickets in New Zealand will be more or less similar to those in South Africa, so the present tour will be a good help. Playing in New Zealand will also help the team to know the conditions better, which will be a must for the next year’s World Cup which is taking place in Aus-New Zealand.
We should expect a tough series but believe Indians have a better and more talented side than the Kiwis, so they should come on top in all formats of the game. This will be a good chance to continue with the resurgence of the Indian team from the shadow of those legends and to improve the overseas record which is nothing to be proud of by any stretch of imagination.