The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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A few of my favourites

This World Cup experience has meant a lot to me. On the eve of the final which Team India plays after 20 years, I’d like to share my thoughts with you.. Life isn’t about black and white, but this World Cup has been about highs and lows... and here they are in no particular order.

The highs

- To see India pulverise Pakistan and keep our World Cup record intact.

- To follow the fortunes of our Indian Team ball-by-ball and then discuss it ball-by-ball with legends like Kapil Dev, Tony Greig, Barry Richards and Jeff Thomson.

- To be a WOMAN ... and yet be a part of a panel that’s for cricket, about cricket, and made up of cricketers!

- To hear of 46 per cent of the cricket viewing population in India being women.

- To sit in a studio in Cape Town with just seven fellow Indians and root for my team.

- To watch new heroes being born right in front of my eyes... to see history being written.

-To see Kenya silence its detractors and make it to the semis not on the basis of the forfeited New Zealand points but through three legitimate upsets against Test playing nations.

- To see Sachin Tendulkar opening again... rightfully!

-To see Mohammed Kaif coming in at No. 4 and making that position belong to him.

-To see that fighting spirit of ‘Dada’ translate with the bat and brain… again.

- To see Ashish Nehra, the big question mark in the Indian team, make a MARK for himself.

- To see the ‘Old War Horse’ Srinath bowl like he has never bowled before.

- To see the face of new India in Zaheer, Yuvraj and Kaif.

- To see the spirit of India re-emerge again, as a team, after the humbling defeat against Australia... and then make it to the finals of the World Cup... Bees Saal Baad!

The lows

- The start before the start : to hear of the KwaZulu Natal team thrash India in a practice match in Durban.

- The victory over Holland in Paarl... only just.

- 125 ALL OUT. The all time low for me... the less this point is elaborated on, the better.

-To watch some unsuspecting victims fall prey to Duckworth and Lewis.

- Shaun Pollock’s last interview as captain in the presentation ceremony after the Sri Lankan match that saw them depart from the World Cup… (that drove me to tears)

- To see that elusive 35th century evade Sachin three times (fingers crossed for the final!).

- To see that this is the last tournament for greats like Andy Flower, Akram, Donald and De Silva.

- To see Captains being dismissed from office or resigning after unsuccessful World Cup campaigns.

- To hear of effigies of the Indian team players being burnt... nothing warrants such extreme reactions.

Am indifferent towards :

- England and New Zealand mixing sport with politics and...

- the section of the media that got personal about my appearance rather than my performance!

In conclusion all I want to say is that, I have closely experienced the journey of Team India from the KwaZulu Natal defeat to the Final arena where they play the defending champions, for the highest cricketing honour... And I, along with a billion fellow Indians would like to wish them, from my heart, “All the Best”

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