Chapter 0:

A Champion's way

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(# is for dialouges that are said out loud

* Is for when a person speaks to himself.

Except for a few references of the past famous players and different famous Cricket matches or Cricket instances, everything else is fictional.)

Date: 25th June 1983

A tall and sturdy looking player, wearing a pure white jersey, does his warm up in his team's dressing room as he listens to the commentary from the Tv set.

"In the commentator's box"

#John (commentator): Well It's the end of 1st Innings, India has posted a low scoring total of 183 on the board, they were all-out at 55.4 overs. Keeping the Brilliant form of west Indies batting line up in mind, I would say that the outcome of this match is pretty clear....... I think this is as far as team India goes

#Mike (commentator) : Well! we can't say that yet, As you know, India has suprised everyone with their performance in this world cup so far until now. Actually nobody even expected this team to make it to the finals, cuz up until this world cup India was never considered as a strong team by anyone. Even though this team consists of many upcoming Individual players, none of them were noticed, as none of them are as highly famed and reputed as the players of different power house cricketing nations; and yet after considering all odds that were against them, this team has pulled off a great feat by coming to the finals, The way all of the players have come together and have shown us some incredible team efforts in all the matches until now makes me think that they can still handle this.

#John: You think so?,..... Huh!

#Mike: Yeah! I mean come on, the match is not decided yet, the Indians still have a chance to turn this around by using their awesome bowling attack just like in the previous matches.

#John: well even if we take that into consideration, I think It's gonna be pretty tough for the Indians to turn this around. I mean, against a rookie or a developing team this total would have been enough just to put up a fight, but against a team like west indies, who, FYI, are the current defending champions of the men's cricket prudential cup, it's almost impossible to defend such a score. I mean, just look at their batting line-up, they have the legendary Chris Lloyd and the great Bob Richards, also in addition to those guys they have the 2 explosive openers, Steve Greenidge and Mark Haynes. It's almost an impossible task for the Indian bowlers to take wickets while keeping these guys from scoring.

#Mike: well! let's just wait and see
What happens. In second innings will it be the underdog team or the will it be the defending champions, that plays well and takes the 3rd prodential cup?...

"Back in the dressing room

The coach, after having a heavy lunch, enters the dressing room and looks at the state of the team. Looking at everyone moping over their play in the first innings, the coach feels little surprised. Even though, at first, for a few seconds, he found it amusing, their demotivated faces made him feel a little concerned. After contemplating at them for few moments, he enters the room with a casual expression on his face.

#coach: YOO.. JACKASSES!! (shouts out loudly)

Everyone gets startled as their attention immediately turns toward their coach. Everyone including the captain (Kamal), and the vice captain (Jimmy) look at him.

#Coach: what the hell is going on here?

Except for kamal and Jimmy everyone else didn't know what he was talking about, They look at each other with puzzled looks on their faces. Seeing each other half naked, everyone feel little amused for few seconds, and then they realise that most of them, including themselves, weren't wearing any proper clothes. Feeling totally embarrassed, everyone immediately put on their clothes.

#coach: What the hell are you guys doing?.....(speaks with a mischevous grin on his face) are you guys trying to open up a strip club over here?

Saying that he giggles sarcastically. Immediately everyone's faces (who were half naked) turn bright red out of embarrassment. The guys who were smoking, immediately put off their cigarettes and put on their jersies  and then look at their coach in an embarrassed way. The coach couldn't help but feel sorry for his players after seeing them in such pitiful state.

#coach: (sighs) Alright! (claps his hand)..... gather around everybody,...... I wanna talk to you guys.

Everyone slowly gathers around him, with kamal, Gopi and Jimmy being the last ones to join. For few moments the coach looks at everyone, standing around him.

#coach: So 183.........,Quiet easy to defend, right? (asks calmly)

Everyone looks at him with gloomy faces.

#coach: (sighs) well! at least, now we know why they are called the defending champions. Even though we're not considered as a power house team by most people, those so called defending champions have faced us with their best plays, which was only possible due to their strong intent to win, whereas you guys totally messed up due to lack of that intent. I think Somewhere deep in your minds you were satisfied with just playing the finals.

Hearing that no-one felt any better, rather most of them started feeling more frustrated, even when they knew that what their coach said was true.

#coach: well! all we can do now is to prevent a humiliating defeat against them, cuz turning this match around at this stage is almost impossible against a strong batting line up such as their's.

Even though everyone  were feeling the exact same thing, they felt frustrated, when they heard the same words from their coach. Even when they knew the fact that they weren't a part of some powerhouse team, the pride that they had as world class cricketers was hurt on hearing their coach's words.

The coach observes that, many of them were looking at him quite seriously.

#coach: feeling angry, are we? (speaks to everyone)..... Well! It hurts when someone puts it like that, doesn't it? (asks them casually)

Everyone in the team except for kamal were still seriously staring at their coach.

#Coach: Well?......What are you gonna do about it?

No one gives any reply to him, everyone just silently stares at him.

The coach could pick up lot of mixed feelings from the looks on their faces. While some of them appeared to be angry at him, the rest of them were still feeling little discouraged and confused about what to do next.

#coach: well!.... what are you gonna do? (asks them again)

suddenly he hears someone speak from somewhere behind everyone.

#kamal: How about winning this match........ and leaving everyone dumbfounded?

Hearing that everyone turn their heads in the direction from where they heard the voice and found it surprising that it was their own captain who had said that. After hearing those words, the coach quickly turns his head towards Kamal realizing that it was he who had said that. Feeling little relieved, he looks at Kamal with a suppressed smile on his face. Seeing the coach smile, Kamal grins back at him. Everyone else couldn't tell whether Kamal was serious or not, whereas their coach had a feeling that he really meant it.

#coach: you... really believe that you can do that?!

#kamal: (looks at the coach like with an obvious look on his face) Yeah!! 

The whole team stares at him curiously, they were totally amazed at his guts, but at the same time his attitude made them feel little worried. Unable to stand his own curiousity mandeep steps forward and talks to Kamal.

#mandeep: How can you be so confident,... aren't you even a little bit worried?

#Kamal : (frowns) worried?..... why?...Why would I be worried?

Everyone were totally amazed to see that there wasn't even a shred of anxiety on his face.

#Mandeep: (Mandeep speaks to him while giving him an incredulous look)  I don't get it,.... I mean... It's The "west Indies"(air quotes it) that we are playing against,..... don't you remember, even the rest of the power house teams struggled to put up a good fight against them, then how can you be so confident that we will win? don't you feel atleast a little bit tensed? (Speaks with a worried expression on his face)

#kamal: (frowns at him) Tensed ?...why?.... what's there to be tensed about?

 Everyone stares at him with totally surprised expressions on their faces, they didn't know what to say anymore.

#kamal: (speaks calmly) why should I feel tensed.... When I know that we're gonna win anyway.

#Balwinder: How can you be so sure?

#kamal: well... I can't think of any reason for us to lose (speaks little impatiently). I don't understand why you guys are feeling are this anxious.

Jimmy immediately steps up and replies to him.

 #Jimmy: Because it is the current defending champions that we are facing, they are not some ordinary team.

After hearing him kamal looks at everyone. After observing their face expressions, he understood that they were a lot more discouraged, than he had thought.

#Kamal: (sighs)... Come on guys, there is no need for you to get this worked up,..... Don't you remember we have already beat them once in this same tournament.

Everyone looks at him with puzzled expressions on their faces.

#kamal: what?...Don't you guys remember our first match?..... Don't you remember that it was against these same guys?

After hearing him it suddenly dawns upon everyone. They remember their 1st match against the same defending champions. Remembering about that match made everyone feel a little confident, especially the bowlers felt a little hopeful after remembering how their bowling had worked against these west Indians, whom they considered so dangerous. But that alone was not enough to completely boost their confidence.

#Jimmy: yeah!.....But...that was a league match, also most of us feel that that was a fluke, cuz if it was not a fluke, we would have won against them the second time we faced them.

hearing his words the whole team feels discouraged again, they were back at square one...Seeing his efforts, to motivate the team, go in vain, Kamal shoots a furious glare at Jimmy, who realising his mistake, avoids eye contact with Kamal. He then turns again towards the team.

#kamal: look guys, we may have lost a few matches on our way here, but in the first match when we played against these same so called giants (air quotes it) and defeated them by a huge margin, that's when i realised that this team is meant for something more than just participating in the world cup. At that very moment, I completely felt certain that even if we don't win this tournment, we have the potential to leave an everlasting impression on everyone's minds........Trust me......, Back then our winning against the world champions, West Indies, wasn't some random fluke......and we don't need something as dumb as luck, for us to win a match.

Everyone looks at him enthusiastically, kamal notices that, one last push was enough to get them going.

#Mandeep: (asks hesitantly) Do you really believe that we can still put up a good fight against those giants in the upcoming innings?

#Kamal: (showing lot of determination in his eyes, he speaks with a straight face) yeah...!! Of course!!......what else do you think I was trying to say all this time?..... I'm not saying this on just some whim; OK?....... This is the opinion that I've reached after seeing you guys throughout the tournament; Did you know? in lot of matches, there were many instances where I felt that our team was clearly on the verge of losing the match, then at that time when no-one; not even me, was expecting anymore miracles from our side, one of us would pull off some of the craziest plays, that I had ever seen, which would turn the whole match into our favour; and I clearly remember that at the end, those plays from that particular player among-st us had left everyone, including the players of both the teams, literally dumbfounded.

Saying that he looks at everyone, and after a few minutes of thinking he starts speaking to them again.

#Kamal: I mean, don't you guys remember? in our semi-final match against england, how Jimmy had outfoxed their top class middle order batsmen and took their wickets. I mean, during the whole innings, their's was the only partnership that made me worried. I think, Without him we wouldn't have won that match and we wouldn't have come this far...

 Feeling little embarrassed as Kamal was speaking highly about him in-front of everyone, Jimmy sheepishly looks at everyone. 

#Kamal: ..... and in the match against Australia, who were the guys, who was it that totally demolished their batting line up and led us to a complete comfortable victory?

Everyone Immediately knew, whom he was talking about. they turn their heads and look at Stuart Binny and Mandeep Singh (Both of them were standing near each other). Both of them feel a little uneasy, with everyone staring at them.

#Kamal: That's right! It was them, who completely smothered their batting line up. Their top order didn't even stand a chance against Binny's extraordinary bowling spell and their middle order batsmen were completely cleaned up by Madan's relentless attack, which left them completely helpless. Saying that he looks at everyone with a bold expression on his face. 

#Kamal: there are so many more of such instances, where many of you have outdone yourselves and showed it to everyone that the Indians are no less to others! (speaks while proudly smiling at them) When I've such an amazing team backing me up, what's there for me to worry about?!

saying that he looks at the whole team, and keeps on staring at them for few moments, with lot of confidence. Looking at him everyone could clearly feel his determination out of nowhere, suddenly they felt that as long as kamal had their backs and led them from the front, they could achieve anything.

Noticing that the whole atmosphere of dressing room had changed as everyone appeared to be totally fired up, the coach didn't see the need of his pep talk anymore. With an impressed smile on his face, he looks at kamal and speaks to him.

#coach: well! If that's how you really feel, then there is nothing else for me to say, except to wish you good luck. (Speaks with a bright smile on his face)

# Coach; well! let's get going then, we're getting late for the match.

#kamal: Alright guys, this is it! Let's make sure to give it our all and let's make those giants fight for every run.....

Hit wicket