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#WeGaveItBack! So what? Indian cricket fans need to learn a thing or two about handling defeat

Aniket Mishra
2.23K   //    27 Mar 2015, 02:17 IST
India gave their best in this World Cup after a disastrous tri-series campaign

Over the years, MS Dhoni has had everything under control: himself, to start off with, but also over a billion of us, who cheer him on like a rockstar, powering him along with bursts of applause and whistles like something out of a concert venue. But more importantly, Dhoni has had his opponents convinced that he is a cut above them when it comes to consistently performing under pressure at the zenith of the modern game.

Switch the scene from the pitch of the SCG to my drawing room where I listen to him addressing the media about his side’s loss, and the adulation that follows remains undiluted.

After the feeling of being ousted from the World Cup had sunk in, everyone should have wanted to congratulate him for the exhilarating displays that India put up throughout the tournament while trying to defend their title. It’s no mean feat to lift yourself from a tumultuous tour and win seven games on the trot.

However as Kipling had hoped, we still treat triumph and disaster the same – with fanaticism! And so people took to social media and primetime on news channels and physically violated the personal space of Dhoni and his teammates, in groups and individually. 

The better team emerged victorious

Games in cricket are contested by two teams of 11 players each, and contrary to what most of us would like to believe, they are not fixed. It’s thus natural that we win some and might end up losing some. Like every other loss, the Indian team did commit some mistakes yesterday and paid for them. Also, the Aussies put up a stellar performance and were deserved winners. There is absolutely no doubt that both teams fought it out fiercely and the better one emerged victorious on the day.

While some criticism is definitely called for, I fail to understand some of the popular and absolutely irrational explanations that have been hurled at the Men in Blue, demanding explanations for the collective failure of the team to #notgiveitback. I mean, it defies logic how any sane person can put the blame on Anushka Sharma. Virat Kohli’s better half, the Bollywood starlet was present in the stadium, but isn’t that what we all do? Get our loved ones to come and support us during times that matter most?

I am sure some of the abuse-hurling janta would have taken their parents to their annual function in school; would they have found it reasonable had the crowd there blamed them for a missed dialogue or a forgotten dance move? Most certainly not. Yet, none of that is taken into consideration while handing out brickbats in times such as these.

Sport produces characters of the highest calibre, and our captain is a fair example of that. Father to a 4-month old daughter who he hasn’t seen yet, Dhoni always maintained that the Cup was their calling, and he managed to derive enough inspiration to stay focused and marshal his team to newer highs.

Sheer determination and hard work helped him achieve what he did. It is, therefore, perplexing why that hasn’t being taken into consideration before labeling him or his teammates national villains or for that matter, pelting stones at their houses. 

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