Death by sugar
Sir — Saraswati Puja is, apparently, Valentine’s Day for Bengalis. The occasion is also a treat for the lovers of a different kind of sweetness. Kodma, naru, math, nakuldana — metaphorical sweet nothings — pull at the heartstrings around this time of the year. Yet, these treats, much like love, are ephemeral, keeping hearts pining till the devi of learning makes her appearance, once again. But perhaps the goddess knows a thing or two that we do not given that all these things are made of unrefined sugar — not the best for one’s health. The heart might be crying, but the teeth are surely glad.
Sir — The Men in Blue should be applauded for their superb performance in the fifth Twenty20, as well as their 5-0 win against the Black Caps. Such a whitewash on foreign soil is rare and thus cherished. The former cricketer, Sanjay Manjrekar, has said that the Indian side under the leadership of captain, Virat Kohli, reminds him of the Pakistan cricket team led by Imran Khan for their “strong self-belief”. Manjrekar is spot on in his assessment. But one wonders whether his opinion will go down well with the Indian side. Cricket and nationalism have become inextricably tangled in present times, with cricketers wearing their love for the nation — or should that be the ruling dispensation? — on their sleeves.
Irrespective of their political opinions, the present Team India has achieved success that should make them proud. They deserve all the accolades that are heaped on them.
Sir — Team India created history as they became the first team in the history of T20 international cricket to win a series 5-0 in a bilateral series. Under Virat Kohli’s intense leadership, young cricketers have played magnificently even when the chips were down by turning adversity into their advantage. This will be a huge boost of morale for Team India ahead of the T20 World Cup scheduled for later this year in Australia. Hats off to Team India.
Sir — It is great to know that the Indian captain, Virat Kohli, wants players in the team to be the “best version of themselves” while being team players in order to dominate world cricket in the coming years. A glimpse of what Kohli was talking about was visible at Mount Maunganui, where K.L. Rahul led the team admirably in the absence of Kohli and Rohit Sharma. Rahul’s performance as a captain has been a revelation; he has also been in great form in the last couple of months, scoring 870 runs in 17 innings with an average of 54.37. His form, both before and behind the wickets, has been excellent.
The brood of youngsters who have joined the team recently have breathed life into Indian cricket. Talented players like Sanju Samson, Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill are just waiting for an opportunity to shine. Fans hope that the Men in Blue will perform as well in the upcoming one-day internationals and Tests as they did in the T20s.
Sir — Kudos to Virat Kohli and his team for whitewashing the T20 series against New Zealand, that too in their own land. Although the Men in Blue clearly dominated the first two matches in the series, the third and fourth matches went down to the wire. But luck and hard work favoured India in the Super Overs. Even during the final match, the Kiwis had every chance of winning with the valuable 99-run partnership between Tim Seifert and Ross Taylor. But once Seifert’s wicket fell, the Black Caps fell like nine pins.
Of course, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur and Jasprit Bumrah must be given all the credit for helping us win. Incidentally, the final match was won in spite of the absence of Kohli and Rohit Sharma. K.L. Rahul led the team admirably. It augurs well for our team that our youngsters are able to handle pressure.
Sir — The victory of the Indian men’s cricket team against New Zealand proves that the Men in Blue are in top form. The contribution of the younger players is especially heartening. The team should not lose focus and keep working hard. This is a great moment for all lovers of Indian cricket.