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Winning the 2013 Champions Trophy: The Perfect Stage of Indian Cricket Transformation

After winning the 2007 T-20 World Cup & 2011 World Cup, Ms Dhoni led an young Indian side to Champions Trophy in 2013.

“An emotion occurs when there are certain biological, certain experiential, and certain cognitive states which all occur simultaneously.”   – Jack Mayers.

Such an amazing thing I find human tears being emotional in different modes. The planet will hardly find some people who has the immense power to get better over their emotion, which is quite tough; but can they hold it back always? They can’t, certainly I can throw an example of that.

India had just won the 2011 World Cup: 

The Indian Cricket had found its highest glory when on a 2nd April humid evening in Mumbai, a six by skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the last ball of the tournament, earned them their 2nd ICC Men’s World Cup since 1983. Quite unsurprisingly, all the Indian boys and fans found their joyous tears rolling down off the eyes. But Mr. captain cool somehow kept his feelings and thoughts in check.

2-years later, when Ashwin’s carrom ball missed both James Tradwell’s bat and Dhoni’s gloves behind the stumps; the Indian captain bounced up and almost started to dance with a bright smile by winning the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy for the very first time on a cold Edgbaston evening. It was just like a fairy tale ending to the tournament for the Indians who didn’t face a single defeat since its beginning.

Spot-fixing Scandal was growing up: 

Perhaps, the time when the Indian team left for England, it was quite a dark time for the nation with spot-fixing saga had covered them from all corners. Different television channels were making shows and raising questions over the player’s honesty which in a way had pushed the clash of the best eight teams of the world on the backseat.

The dark clouds left when the Indian team demolished the most dangerous South Africa, the arch-rivals (Pakistan) and the West Indies, whom you never know, before beating Sri-Lanka in the semis to meet host England in the last game. Six wins on a bounce including their practice games, this side was making all belief by getting back the losing pride. It was so sweet to realize that the new young bloods were slowly filling the voids of the old faces who were no longer a part of the system. The transformation had got the perfect stage and if they undoubtedly beat the English side, it would be a remarkable feeling and atmosphere.

England’s 38-year drought of an ICC Trophy:

The English sky at late June began its normal services as the heavens opened up on the final’s day, sometimes pouring, sometimes drizzling. At times, one can differentiate the alternated craze of the crowds. The English fans usually being informed of the weather were sitting with an umbrella covered by a rain-coat whereas the Indians were rolling drams. Most of the tickets were purchased by the latter but how could the English crowd leave a chance of watching their side in overturning the 38-year-old drought of lifting the ICC trophy?? 

After almost 6-hours of unprecedented rain, the match was reduced to 20-overs because of no reserve day for the affair. Winning the toss, Alastair Cook, without much of a shock, asked to filed first to use the moisture of the covered track and also it generally became a bit easy to chase.

India was limping at the beginning: 

The Indian opening partnership didn’t take the normal road with Rohit Sharma, who suddenly was offered the toughest job of opening at the start of the tournament, went to the hut for just 9. When his partner Shikhar Dhawan gave Tredwell a catch off Bopara’s medium pace bowling, they were crumbling at 50-2 in 8.3-overs.

England were not a great T-20 side at that time honestly but still you required at least 150 or so to provide them any kind of pressure but they were never on the track. Losing Karthik, Raina and captain Ms Dhoni so cheaply, they were pushed at a corner with observing 5-top batsmen at just 66-runs on the board, just 7-overs to spare.

Virat-Jadeja Partnership took India over 120:

small partnership of around 47-runs between Virat Kohli & Ravindra Jadeja gave them some respite and because of their late flourish, India could reach at only 129/7 after their allotted 20-overs. Chasing that score could be a walk in the park for Cook and co. The dream and wait of winning an ICC trophy didn’t look too far.

England had almost selected the same route to travel as they found themselves digging at 46/4. From Cook to Root, all the main 4-batsmen had gone back to the dressing room. “I still can’t figure out how Dhoni anticipated that.” Ashwin recalled in a live session the moment when his captain insisted him to bowl over the wicket to get Jonathon Trott stumped. The repairing had to get started with Bopara and Morgan on the crease. The only benefit that they might have found was watching the score on the giant screen. They could calculate easily how to approach.

Morgan-Bopara almost took England over the line: 

And then the 66-run partnership in around 50-balls had given them a bit of cushion to find their way back. Needing 20-runs in the last three overs, both the set batsmen would have the same aim of hitting the balls in the gap to gain single whereas a boundary here and there would reach them to their goal. Ishant had the worst day going for runs with zero flashing on the wicket column. India, still having Kumar and Yadav, both economical, in the bank would do really a foolish job of throwing the ball to Sharma.

But Dhoni did what Dhoni does and just like most instance, he proved right again. Don’t ask me how. Ishant got both the set batsmen in consecutive deliveries and the moment they saw Morgan falling, they knew it was going to be a difficult ask for the new batter.

Indian Cricket saw a transformation: 

For me, the most surprising was to throw the ball to his spinners in the last couple of overs and he clicked the right button again as Buttler was undone by Jadeja. Lastly, when Tredwell missed a chance of doing a Dhoni i.e., hit a six to win the trophy, the Indian captain became the first man and till now the only person to lift 3-ICC Trophies in the history of the game.

“We are the No. 1 ranked team, let’s play like that.” The words of the Indian captain had motivated the whole bunch. “God helps those who help themselves.” 

India became successful to throw a new point to talk about:

And the moment arrived, the trophy was handed over to him; the firecrackers were brightening the Edgbaston sky with Bhangra and different dance by two Delhi boys, Kohli and Dhawan, on the ground before the banner, explaining how important that was for them and the whole nation.

The perfect story of a team’s transformation has seen so many groups coming under the shadow when the greats retired, Sri Lanka had found out as have the Proteas recently. But Indian Cricket had transformed to a new generation from the day. The Indian media from the spot-fixing sagas had shifted themselves to main event. Let’s live in the fairy-tale moment.

Brief Scores: 

India: 129-7 (20) (V Kohli 43, R Jadeja 33*, R Bopara 3-20) beats England 124-8 (20) (E Morgan 33, R Bopara 30, R Ashwin 2-15) by 5-runs.

Man of the Match: Ravindra Jadeja.

Man of the Tournament: Shikhar Dhawan.

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