A letter to MS Dhoni

An open letter to MS Dhoni, the man who leads a team powerful enough to bring both smiles as well as tears to a billion.

Updated: August 31, 2011 09:37 IST
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Dear MS,

To say that I am heartbroken and disconsolate with our whitewash in England would be an understatement.

I watched our team every day, without fail on the telly, being steamrolled into submission by players I know little about. It was difficult for me to see my supermen being hammered by a ruthless and super efficient English side. It wasn't fair the way our team let us down except Rahul who as usual, stood steady amongst the ruins.

Even today, I cannot forget the sight of Viru being cleaned up by Swann in the last Test match. We, the kings of spin, stood exposed on a pitch which resembled many of the feather-beds that we have in India.

Every night when I turned in, the eternal optimist in me would say: Viru is going to decimate them tomorrow or Sachin is going to play the innings of his life.

Even on the last day of the last Test, I followed our team hoping for a miracle, hoping that all the love that we shower on your team would be paid back with resilience, the kind Rahul showed.

There were signs of that resistance when Sachin was batting with Amit Mishra and in that inspired spell that Praveen Kumar bowled in the third Test.

When you look back at what transpired thereafter, it was all in vain, wasn't it?

I followed every bit that was written about you, our team, as well as what our learned pundits had to say about the team on TV. It hurts me no end when Nasser Hussain or Geoff Boycott espouse a radical change in how Indian cricket should be played or when they talk about the inability of our players to cope up with what is being thrown at them by the English.

I winced every time some new joke about our team did the rounds. I hung my head in shame and like many others, started the process of the "I told you these guys are nothing but overpaid superstars" routine. As I sat to think however, of the number of times that our team has given joy to me and to us as a nation, I was struck by my shallowness. It hit me like a quicker one in the box.

A lot has been written, debated and spoken in all kind of forums. Our team has been subjected to ridicule and many an unkind barb has been made on our team's performance. But in all that I realized that if it affected me so much, what would the likes of Sachin, Laxman, Rahul and you be going through at this moment.

To see you explain to the media and to maintain your equanimity in this entire witch-hunt needs a lot of guts and I salute you for it. You know what would be a bigger tragedy than to have lost the Test series? It would be to have you guys to stop believing in yourself. I cannot imagine a loss in England to demolish the confidence of a team that is probably, one of the finest that has worn the India colours.

I saw the pride in your eyes, in the eyes of Sachin and the entire Indian team as we won the World Cup. I now realize that victory meant more to the team than it meant to some of us naysayers. I share your grief and your anguish, but let the expectations of a billion people not weigh you and your team down. You are and will be a role model for a lot of young people.

Go and enjoy your cricket and win if you can but don't take away that joy of seeing a Sachin or a Dhoni playing their game with gay abandon. After all, there is no greater joy than watching our team playing and giving all.


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