Defeating Pakistan in any game for India means one word: brilliance. So much has been made of a simple cricketing rivalry between these neighboring and cricket-loving countries. The common saying is both can trick destiny to have another go at one another.
But day before yesterday, as India toppled Pakistan’s mighty ask of 198 off 20 overs in a World T20, India weren’t the only victors.
It was Cricket’s victory of sorts
A game where daring and guile so often dominate headlines, enabling talents to master record books, not having ‘vision’ and still envisioning a triumph- stood as mighty achievement.
At Bengaluru’s Chinnaswamy stadium, Cricket for the Blind sent the sound of India’s Blind World T20 triumph reverberating across the world. A sensational 9 wicket victory, no paltry achievement in any form of the game, saw India comfortably chase down a domineering total set by Pakistan, who in their feisty batting crafted a world record 197 run score in any T20 final.
A team stood out as a victor, going up above another but in a contest that was ethereal to the spirit of the game.
India’s victory was both historic and milestone worthy
India have previously locked horns in 2007’s memorable T20 final against Pakistan. But even in that game, no total nearing 197 like Pakistan’s in 2017 was scored. But then when has cricket offered predictability and since when have India Pakistan matches spun out against offering subliminal entertainment.
Powered by Badar Munir’s valiant half-century, Pakistan charged down Indian bowling and a stable fifty run partnership between Amir Ishfaq and Muhammad Jamil ensured the total India were meant to chase was a lofty one.
But where there is pressure, there’s always been Prakasha Jayaramaiah
Prakasha in his instrumental 99 not out and Ajay Kumar Reddy through a fluent 43 helped India lift its second successive crowning glory, that too in the very final stage of a World T20 for the Blind. They struck record books with the same tantalizing strokemaking fireworks that they displayed on the ground.
This was an all-encompassing victory
A true team-achievement is one where an ensemble of talents comes together to raise the flag high. Bengaluru witnessed just that.
With rich contributions from Dunna Venkatesh and Ketan Patel- the team rallied along and performed around Prakasha’s top order heroics.
Even then, this wasn’t an easy contest. Not simply because here you had 22 cricketers locking horns in a fierce contest.
The India versus Pakistan World T20 final, apart from being a scorcher of a contest was once again about what matters most- pride.
The heroics of Blind World T20 2012 revived
Back in 2012, it was the Blind T20 side’s maiden World cup victory. A first title is always cherished. It’s special. It’s the first of the many, the team hopes to achieve. And just as India, back in 2012, cherished posting first an incredible 258 off just 20 overs, and later celebrated winning the first Blind World T20, the feeling was that next year around it might be Pakistan. Who knows, even some other team.
But beyond this fashionable veneer of triumph, a feeling has stood out for amazing talents who embrace Blind World T20.
The feeling of palpable destruction! Of batting being sheer savagery!
Coming up with a final score nearing 200, as Pakistan marvelously did in the first innings on February 12, 2017 makes you want to tip your hat to them; also, for keeping the cherished rivalry intact and, in the end, celebrating the other’s victory, as Pakistan and India congratulated each other on a game well played. This makes for some fitting sights in world cricket.
Could we also ask the ICC a question?
Why can’t we see frequent bi-lateral series between these two honestly talented sides? Why can’t there be a greater participation from India’s stable of greats in hailing these mighty competitors who battle to realize their vision despite having no vision in the first place?
It was rewarding, to say the least, when Dravid spoke so highly and so truly to his character about the need to push and encourage Cricket for the Blind.
Can we also have the greats- Lara, Kallis, Ponting, Akram, Warne, Sanga and others join the chorus and travel the cricketing geographies to promote this incredible spectacle? Honestly, then cricket would truly become the all-encompassing sport that it deserves to be.
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