To whomsoever it may concern. To Team India who it ought to concern.
It’s summer-time in January in Australia but this year, the heat just got a little too unbearable.
We thought you will win, you lost. Fine. We thought you will fight, you didn’t. Fine. We eventually reconciled thinking one of you will stand up and fight but none heard us screaming our support from the stands. That is not fine. No it is not.
That you lost a Test is part of the game. That you lost the next two is bearable too, perhaps. After all, we took our own time to adjust when we came to this country. But we stuck our guts and refused to give up. Even when reports of Indian students being targeted cropped up, we held our own and made it through. What did your lot do?
When you were targeted by bowlers, all of you ran back to the pavilion in a hurry. When the batsmen took you on, you trembled by bowling short and wide. We know because we were there in Melbourne, we were there in Sydney and against all rationale, some of us even went to the WACA.
A year back when you defeated Australia in the World Cup, we walked the streets with our heads held high. When you won the tournament, we wore our blues with pride. Now, we have taken all our clothes with the slightest hue of blue and stored them away. We are bleeding but not blue for sure.
Do not get us wrong. We are called fans for a reason and we are not criticizing you. This is more of a question than a judgment. Could none of you stand your ground here? Could not just one of you say – enough is enough? We are not talking of a rare Virat Kohli 50 or a heartening but fruitless 5-wicket haul from Umesh Yadav. We are talking in terms of qualitative consistency.
The joke last March here was that Australia go down under in India. We know because some of us came up with it. The joke now is that the only way Indians can get a wicket is by raising their own fingers rather than making the umpires do it. We know because all of us have (over)heard it.
The other day, we were walking in our university campus and some locals came up to us and asked if we were from the country that just lost 0-3 or the other which is having a political turmoil again. Here, India is now known as much for the cricket played recently as Pakistan has always been known for it’s political crisis. It is defining us and our country!
Winning and losing is like passing and failing. Both happen from time to time. We get it. But the worst of students among us study at least a day before the exam. Couldn’t you? And remember, when/if we fail our first exam in foreign colleges, none of us get up and say we failed to adjust and acclimatize. Keep this in mind before you make statements, let alone go out to play to lose again. See you in Adelaide (yes, we will be there).
With dwindling love,
Indian cricket fans in Australia.