Let’s get one thing out of the way first. This hurts. As followers of Indian cricket fans, we had basically started believing that we were Gods of the One Day International format. Despite all the talk about the “Banglawash” and that cute Star Sports ad, we just couldn’t believe you’d actually defeat us. But you guys have, quite comprehensively too we should add, and it hurts. But hopefully we’ll come back at you even harder.
Now that’s out of the way, we’d like to speak to you as just cricket fans. And the first thing we have to say is: Congratulations!
Seriously, how are you guys doing this? That’s your ninth straight win at home. Of course, the naysayers are going to argue about how most of those wins came against Pakistan and Zimbabwe but you guys can’t really choose who you play, can you? And it’s not like you guys have done dismally outside as well, you thrashed England in the World Cup!
Another Asian rivalry
But honestly, this is so good. We might be a little sore right now, but this is amazing. There’s another Asian team on the block and you’re getting stronger and stronger. We’ve had our battles with Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Obviously, we can’t play Pakistan anymore because of political reasons, but our battles with Sri Lanka have lost a bit of that edge. Now with you guys steadily rising on the horizon, we’ve just got another great Asian rivalry going.
The best thing about you guys is that you have your own unique style. We’ve been playing with Pakistan and Sri Lanka for so long now that they don’t surprise us. Like we know Pakistan will be unpredictable. We know they’ll find strapping fast bowlers from somewhere. We know Sri Lanka will unearth another mystery spinner and unleash him on a slow turner at Colombo or Galle.
For a while, we thought you were going the Sri Lankan way. Only instead of unearthing one mystery spinner after another, you had a supply line of left arm tweakers. Of course, we’re not saying that wasn’t interesting but well, there’s just something else about watching fast bowlers tear in to bowl. There’s something primordial about that sight, something which provokes an instant adrenaline rush.
A plethora of pace talent
And my word, haven’t you guys fit the bill there? Your fast bowlers are going from strength to strength. Rubel Hossain and Taskin Ahmed – young fast tearaways charging in without a care in the world. Mashrafe Mortaza, your inspirational captain, always ready to step in if something goes wrong. Honestly, you really need to send us that memo on fast bowlers...we really can’t have another Asian team being able to find better fast bowlers than ours.
A word about this new sensation you unleashed on us tonight: boss, where have you been hiding Mustafizur Rahman? Granted he’s only 19, but he’s a screamer. If Sri Lanka have their mystery spinners, this chap’s your mystery seamer. How does he get his wrist to release the ball that way? How can he control his in-cutters so expertly? You guys have discovered a gem. A word of advice though, handle him carefully. We speak from long advice of seeing bright young pace sensations emerging on the Indian circuit only to fade away, lost and confused. We’d hate to see the same happen to him.
Your lot thumped us today, thumped us good and proper. And while we never like that, we love the spirit you guys have shown. In recent years, the number of controversies related to corruption in cricket has all made us slightly cynical about the game we love. It’s refreshing to see the way your guys play the game. The passionate celebrations when your players get a wicket – a bowler kicking the turf in frustration – it doesn’t seem contrived, it all seems to come right from within. This might be just another set of matches in a long cricketing calendar for us, but for you guys, it’s clear that these three games are an opportunity to make a statement to the world: we’re no longer international cricket’s laughing stock.
It’s great going and like we said, we love it. But keep your head on your shoulders. Follow Sri Lanka’s model. They got better at home and slowly started getting better abroad. You’ve got some great players in your team – handle them carefully, who knows, one of them might even be the next Sangakkara. Soumya Sarkar certainly looks like he has the goods. Don’t be defensive, like you were in the Test match against us. Play with the same aggression that you show in the ODIs.
On a final note, well done! Looks like this could be the beginning of a beautiful rivalry...
Indian cricket fans
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