Monday, December 26, 2011


My mind goes back to that morning 8 years and 10 days ago. 16th December 2003. I was 15, had just finished a class at my boarding school, and rushed out as it ended to find my Physics professor. I knew he would have the score.

When I found him, I did not need to ask. I knew. His smile (and he rarely smiled!) made it obvious. India had won by 4 wickets at Adelaide, and Rahul Dravid had hit the winning runs. "Poetic justice!" is what he had said back then!

I had followed that Test series (from Brisbane to Sydney) by snatching updates on All India Radio and begging for more updates from professors whom I knew had internet connections. Despite the fact that we were clear underdogs, I still had hopes from our team. Back then, I was less of a realist and more of an optimist! I still remember thinking that during the World Cup less than a year before that series, India had clearly been the second best team. The time seemed ripe to take on the best team in their backyard!

And take them on we did! That Adelaide Test took my love for the game to a different level... particularly Test cricket! India had won after conceding more than 550 runs in the first innings. If the Eden Gardens miracle of 2001 was not enough, this one just reaffirmed my faith that there is no game quite like Test cricket!

And then, on the next day (17th December 2003), Rohit Brijnath became my favourite cricket writer with this wonderful piece on the front page of The Indian Express. Yes, those three "architects" of our win deserved no less!

That Australian summer changed a lot of things about my relationship with cricket! I had followed India's tours to England and the West Indies earlier in the decade with considerable studiousness, but this was the tour that created an impact... an impact that made cricket a lot bigger than a mere sport for me!

An hour before the Boxing Day Test match kicks off at Melbourne Cricket Ground, memories of that match at Adelaide (and to think that I managed to watch just the highlights) create a nostalgia in my mind. I hope that this series is just as hard fought and fairly-fought, and when "dusk begins its quiet descent", the winners are wearing blue caps!

1 comment:

DS said...

Beautifully written post, made me nostalgic as well!!!
I was 18 then...
Was that winning feeling not magical, that punch of the hands... that cry of....