LET US BE TRUE INDIAN FANS
The fourth and final Test of the India-England series starts today at the Oval. With the series already being won by England with victories in all the three Tests so far, it may seem as this game is a dead rubber. But, it is far from it. There is a lot at stake in this Test match, not the least being India’s pride and the future of certain cricketers.
Going into this Test match, the reactions of cricket followers have been as varied and Kevin Pietersen’s hairstyles. Majority of the Indian cricket fans have been disappointed & depressed by India’s performance or rather the utter lack of performance, while some rare people have expressed their hope or an Indian fight back. But the general reaction has been of anger, spite, and negativity.
Amidst all this team-bashing and excuse-giving, I have only one thing to say to all Indian cricket fans – “If you can’t support your team in adversity, you don’t deserve to support the team at all.” It is very easy to be a die-hard Indian fan, bleeding blue and all when your team is winning, but the true test of a fan is to stand by your team when it is losing. Over the last three weeks, I have read some of the most scathing columns and tweets about Team India and that has disappointed me more than India’s loss. There is thin, blurred line between analysing the reasons for the failure and mindlessly blast the team. Sadly most of us seem to have crossed this line when we wrote about the team’s sojourn in England. Agreed India have played miserably and worse, not even put up a decent fight. We have lost our Number 1 Ranking and may not have a chance of regaining the crown for a long time. But only listing out the problems without providing solutions is not going to help the team or the fans. And I believe that criticism is of no use if not constructive. The team has already been humiliated by the English players and media, as Indian fans we should not look to further humiliate the team by our harsh reactions.
Let us not pronounce the sentence on India and talk about an English whitewash. Instead we should be optimistic of an Indian revival. We have a very talented team with the best 11 players and we have the potential to take 20 wickets as well as bat for 200 overs. The only thing missing is the confidence to do so. If a Sehwag, a Dravid, a Laxman, a Tendulkar, a Ishant play to their full potential, we could still manage to win this Game and stay at the No 2 position.
As the final test begins, I have only one request to make of all Indians who claim to love cricket, let us support the team in bad times as we do in good times, let us be positive of the team winning this Test, let us cheer every wicket, every milestone without rancour. In other words, let us all be true Indian fans.