|The answer to our last cover story question, “Who will lift the Cup?” has been received, and how. What a magnificent Cricket World Cup 2011 it was. The cricket was good, the organization terrific, and the entire event was incident free. The best team won the competition, but it had to scrap its way to the Cup. Nothing came easy. But this Indian team showed character in large measures, and its captain Bjorn Borg-like coolness at the centre. Seldom has India been so collectively happy and joyous. Seldom have so many people, all at one time, expressed so much pride in the nation. It has to do with more than just cricket. It is about an assertion that India’s time has come. It is a statement of India’s authority on the world stage, and cricket is only one of the mediums. Now if only India can be freed from corruption.
Our cover story looks at a champion side, and its man at the helm who Allan Border described, “is more than just a captain, he is a leader.” To finish a World Cup with a six sailing into the stands will be every cricketer’s wildest dream, Mahendra Singh Dhoni made it possible. When India needed him the most, he delivered the best. Historian-editor James A Froude said that you cannot dream yourself into a character, you must hammer and forge yourself one. Dhoni did just that. Nothing came easy. But he forged partnerships, chipped away, and then hammered the bowling, and took India to the Cup, and the nation to ecstasy. Of course, do not discount the contributions of every other team member.
Sachin Tendulkar’s cupboard of excellence is now complete. And he bowed out as second highest run getter in the tournament. Not bad for a man who also was the IPL’s highest scorer last season. At his age, he is simply improving, in every format. Yuvraj Singh is a man who, when he is timing the ball, looks better than the best. This tournament belonged to Yuvraj. He came up with fighting, attacking knocks, and also shined with the ball. And his fielding went up a notch as he was back to his preferred backward point. Zaheer Khan bowled with the guile of an old fox that could read the batsman’s mind. No wonder he finished up as joint highest wicket taker in the Cup. Gambhir, Raina, Sehwag, Kohli, Munaf, Ashwin, Nehra, Harbhajan, all gave glimpses of sheer talent, and stood up when the team needed them. Without such quality, India would not have made it.
Elsewhere in this issue we have some important stories related to the Indian Diaspora. Some of them are plain inspiring, and showcase why India needs to open up greatly to this flood of talent waiting to engage.
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