“He has carried Indian cricket on his shoulders for 21 years. So it was fitting that we carried him on our shoulders after this win.” Virat Kohli
Some said it was destiny that a man who has carried the hopes of a billion people , should lift cricket’s biggest trophy in his own backyard. On April 2nd as Mahendra Singh Dhoni dismissed the ball to a six, a whole nation cheered. But it was evident that the dimunitive mumbaikar was the happiest man on the planet. The likes of Yuvraj Singh , MS Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh made it very clear . They did it for Sachin Tendulkar.
No one could deny that the victory at Wankhede was scripted by Gambhir and the tenacious Dhoni, but the country as a whole saluted it’s most favorite son : Sachin Tendulkar. Everybody knew that ,statistically atleast, this would be Sachin’s last world cup. So, to go out and win it for him would have been the best thing you could do for him. And win it they did. All through the tournament, Sachin had wielded the willow as he has done in every world cup before this. And reminiscent of the Indian teams of the past ,the Indian batting order collapsed(not taking anything away from Yuvaraj’s performance) , giving us fears that we might not make it this time. But the team delivered when it mattered the most.
Every Indian batting chase has revolved around it’s openers, Sourav and Sachin or Viru and Sachin. Chasing 275 to win in the finals against the Lankans was no easy task. But when Master and His Apprentice got out, India were floundering at 31/2. Clocks were turned to the Indian side of the 90’s when you could practically switch off the TV, go to bed and find out the margin of defeat next morning. NO , not this time around. Kohli, Gambhir , Dhoni and Yuvraj rallied around to make it one of the best run chases in the history of the World cup. It happens to be the highest in a world cup final. They made sure that Sachin got the one thing that was missing from his resume – World Champion. A fitting way to bid adieu to the quadrennial tournament.
After the game when Virat Kohli said : “Sachin Tendulkar has carried Indian cricket on his shoulders for 21 years. So it was fitting that we carried him on our shoulders after this win” , one could not think that he spoke it out of the moment. But this win , this farewell present for the Man was years in the making. I remember MSD making Sourav Ganguly captain the team for the last few hours on his last test match for india . But this farewell party tops it all. We all hope that Sachin would continue playing for the country though, the ball is in his court.