There and Back Again – ‘Tween Triumph and Disaster

England have a deserving lead of 2-1 in this exciting test series. It has not panned out like most reasoned spectators would have figured. Many expected slow games, a few draws, and India to win 1-0. After the first test, it appeared this could happen or, for the tourists, it could be a whole lot worse. England could not play spin and they could not bowl sides out on flat tracks; the same old stories.

Two weeks later, the Indians are in total despair and the English are euphoric. The fact is, that if India bowl well, and England have another of their well-famed batting collapses, the series will end at two games each.

My point is a simple one. Let us keep our heads a little and enjoy this contest for what it is. Two good sides that are each capable of beating the other, and handsomely when things go well. We do not need to overstate England’s wins any more than we need to lament India’s losses. In the wider picture, India’s batting is deep into a period of transition. The old guard are gone – some literally, others figuratively. The youth can be inspirational, but seldom consistent. Enjoy the success of Pujara, be patient with the sublime talent of Kohli, debate the effectiveness of Dhoni and enjoy the all-round grit and skill of Ashwin. Above all, try to enjoy the cricket, for both teams will have good times and bad – hopefully not too long between each one; for without the bad, the good is harder to appreciate.

Two sections of Rudyard Kipling’s timeless “If” explain it better than I ever could…

IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;

The full poem:

PS: We should also be VERY happy there have been 3 results out of 3,
thus far, and a 4th result looks likely! Less than 24 hours to go 🙂