Team India Specials

True Colour

Monday, June 01, 2022
Anupam Pratihary

‘When you are wearing India cap, you don’t feel tired.’ Perhaps, the import of the remark, in totality, can never be understood by cricket writers, who haven’t played at the highest level. However true and sincere we, the chroniclers of the game, may be in our effort to capture its nuances, what India colour does to the very being of a cricketer is something that will remain in the realms of the cricketing world unknown to us.

Perhaps, the feeling is similar to what a soldier experiences during the time of a war. It’s the time when everything takes a backseat for a soldier except for the ultimate objective — fighting for the country’s honour. It’s the time to put the years of intensive training to the ultimate test — to fight and defeat the enemy. It’s the time which every soldier dreams, yearns and lives for — to make the ultimate sacrifice for the country. It’s the singular purpose around which their lives revolve. And cometh the hour, even a tired body and a fatigued mind is awash with adrenaline, supreme courage and the overwhelming desire to perform the duty for his country. A soldier rises to the occasion and fights to the finish. And he fights to win.

Cricketers are probably a luckier lot for they do not encounter a life and death situation though the call of duty beckons more often.

India’s batting legend Sunil Gavaskar learnt about the importance of India colour the hard way when he was slighted by his maternal uncle and former India player, Madhav Mantri, for trying out his India jacket. Gavaskar was told, in no uncertain terms, by his uncle that India colour cannot be borrowed, it has to be earned instead. A lesson that Gavaskar did well to remember before donning the India cap and that too with great distinction.

Over a decade of toil on the cricket field and consistent performance at the grinding domestic level that goes behind earning the India cap is never lost on a cricketer who plays for the country. India cap is the culmination of years of dream, blood and sweat. Every time these cricketers turn out in their India colour, their mind knows no fear and body recognises no fatigue.

So, when cricket writers rise in a crescendo to claim that our boys must be tired ahead of the T20 World Cup as a result of the gruelling IPL-2, we seem to be missing the point Praveen Amre made couple of days back with this writer — when you are wearing India cap, you don’t feel tired. The remark could only have come from a man like Amre, who donned the India colour with pride and distinction.

We hope the ‘colour blue’ will yet again inspire Dhoni and his boys to play like a champion side it has emerged into. And may be bring home the trophy, yet again.