For me it came naturally that the morning after Team India became world champions, my thoughts turned to the Sri Lankans, wondering how they took the narrow shave in Mumbai last night - the proverbial slip between the cup and the lip. I was curious because as Ravi Shastri took pains to point out more than once at the closing ceremony, Sri Lankan cricketers put up a terrific game. Having lived in Colombo for almost 4 years and knowing only too well the Sri Lankan people’s tenacity and resilience, frankly, I wasn’t sure till the very end - say, the final 30 minutes or so - as to who would turn out to be the winners. Everything seemed in favour of the Indians statistically - except that they were playing the lions from Sri Lanka. Seeing the fire in his eyes, in fact, I got the sense that Sangakkara wasn’t prepared to give up hope until the very last 4 or 5 minutes.
So, I felt absolutely overwhelmed when Shastri ‘interviewed’ Sangakkara and the young man was so gracious and dignified and composed within minutes of losing a World Cup that might as well have been his. I don’t think another defeated captain standing right in the middle of the debris of defeat with flashbulbs glaring at him (and 40000 pairs of eyes trained on him) would have paid the Indians the ultimate compliment as Sangakkara did when he said the Indians today are so bloody good in cricket that if an opponent sets anything less than 350 runs to chase, Dhoni and his men would simply walk away with victory.
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