Jeetega Bhai Jeetega

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19th Nov, 2023

The big day has arrived – The grand Finale of ICC World Cup 2023.

Only today counts, whatever each team has done so far is inconsequential, how you perform today, how you handle the pressure in this high-pressure game will matter.

The most talented team may not win, who is hungrier and can handle the big day match pressure will emerge victorious and take home the trophy.

India has had some great cricketing battles against Australia over the years.

In the 2003 World Cup Final, played in Johannesburg, South Africa, Australia steamrolled India to win the title & Ricky Ponting-led Australia defeated Sourav Ganguly’s team by 125 runs.

Australia again defeated India in the Semi-final of the 2015 world Cup by 95 runs.

However, India has had some memorable wins against Australia in International Cricket.

Who can forget the Kolkata Test against the marauding Australians when VVS Laxman’s 281 in the second innings—with India following on—widely regarded as the finest Test innings by an Indian cricketer, which more importantly, helped India craft an unlikely win over the mighty Aussies.

Again in 2010, with India needing 216 to win the Test, It was 76 for 5 when Laxman walked in with a runner. After a brief partnership with Tendulkar, who soon departed, wickets fell in a heap again & India was staring at defeat with the scoreboard reading 124 for 8. Ishant Sharma walked out to join V.V.S. Laxman. They had 92 runs to get, 2 wickets in hand & as commentators would have loved to say, it was all over bar the shouting.

However, V.V.S. made an unbeaten 73, Ishant a valiant 31 & India won the Test match with a wicket to spare. Against all odds, Laxman had shepherded India to a famous victory. What marked Laxman’s knock as special was not the fact that he braved back pain and a hostile attack to take India to victory with just batsmen Nos. 10 & 11 for company, It was the way he batted with the tail-enders that led to an impossible India victory.

Another time at ‘The Gabba’ in Brisbane. It was the 2nd final of the Commonwealth Bank Series 2008, India versus Australia.

India had won the first game & had posted a competitive 258 in 50 overs. With one over left, the equation was tantalizing—6 balls to go, 13 runs to get & two wickets in hand.

Dhoni, the skipper threw the ball to Irfan & he got India home to victory with 9 runs & 2 balls to spare.

In the post-match interview, a TV reporter asked Irfan about the pressure he felt when he came on to bowl that last over.

What was he thinking? Irfan’s reply was the ultimate lesson in handling pressure.

He said that as he went up to bowl, he thought of his childhood, of the days when his father—a lowly paid muezzin in the local mosque—struggled to feed the family. He thought of the stress his parents went through trying to get his sister married.

That he said was pressure, Real pressure.

What did he have to do?  Simply, just bowl 6 balls & not give away 13 runs. Surely that’s no pressure, he said to himself!

This Indian Team could all learn from Irfan how to put things in perspective. Under pressure, it’s easy to focus on the problem at hand & feel burdened & overwhelmed.

We could instead think of how blessed we are & think of the others who may not be as lucky. That would help take the mind away from the problem & make it seem almost trivial & help perform to the best of our abilities.

Whatever the mind focuses on tends to grow. Think of your problems & they will seem to grow bigger. Focus on your strengths & they will seem to get magnified too. As always, the choice is yours.

When faced with the challenge of walking on a thin log across a stream, make sure your mind does not get filled with thoughts of falling into the water.

Come on Team India – you can do it.

I am already visualising Rohit Sharma & his boys holding aloft the trophy after a well fought battle and when a billion people visualise the same, it is bound to manifest.

Make the nation proud, Team India, a Billion prayers are with you.

Indiaa – Indiaah!

Jeetega Bhai Jeetega – India Jeetega

Stay Blessed forever.