Sunday evening. The Deccan Chargers scripted what can possibly described as a 'work of art'. And walked away with the IPL trophy. The World was amazed, and couldn't help admire.
While I sat and debated, for the nth time - whether 20-20 was the way to go, or if the traditional test matches and ODIs were the 'true' form of cricket, I sat and watched the game.
And I was immediately reminded of India's moment of glory - at Lords - 1983. When team India lifted the Prudential Cup. And were declared World Champions.
And I saw similarities. India, in the 1983 tournament were the underdogs, much as the Deccan Chargers at the beginning of the 2009 IPL.
But India came around from behind. Slowly, but surely and steadily. So did the DCs. And India excelled when it mattered, just as the DCs did.
1983 was also a fine example of a captain leading by example. Kapil Dev came in to bat against Zimbabwe, when the team was on a near collapse at a dismal 50 odd runs for the loss of 5 wickets (?). And he took over control of the situation. As if it was a matter of life and death. And then came a brilliant knock from the bat, of and unbeaten 175. India won the match and went on to the semi finals. Which was impossible, till the captain came in, and made the difference.
I thought about Kapil, when I saw Adam Gilchrist bat on Saturday. What a similarity. Adam, batting against Delhi- easily the best team in the IPL thus far. But he had made a firm resolve. And he believed in himself and his team when no one else did. Proving to the World that at that level and standard of the game, cricketing talent alone matters little. For there is hardly any difference between one player and the other. What matters is the grit, the determination and the resolve to make the difference when it matters the most. A single minded focus to achieve the goal against all odds.
And when I saw Adam bat, I was reminded of Kapil. Both captains. Both made a difference in what could have easily ended in their team's exit from the tournament.
And then the grand finale. A brilliant display of teamwork. The DCs emerging out of a crisis, when their captain went out for a duck. Massive and valuable batting contributions by Gibbs and Symonds.
And then the two consecutive wickets by Symonds which changed the game just when Bangalore was set to take the match. The brilliant catch by Harmeet Singh. Everyone played a role.
It reminded me of Krishnamachari Srikant, Yashpal Sharma at the batting crease in 1983. Taking on the mighty West Indians who had never before conceded the Championship - till 1983. And the brilliant bowling attack by - Madan Lal, Mohinder Amarnath and Roger Binnyand even an 'unheard of' Balvinder Singh Sandhu.
It was all about team play 26 years ago. And it was all about team work yesterday.
And the belief - that against all odds - they can do it.
They did - and how !