When India lost eight wickets in the Mohali Test, still needing 80 runs for victory, I gave up. Even when India were only 30 runs away, I still thought we were finished. In fact, before the final day even started, I had Australia with the higher odds. I just didn’t believe India could do anything heroic in the 4th innings.
It occurred to me, as I was chatting with the Twitter fraternity, that I’ve yet to recover from the 1990s. I first started following the game during the 1996 World Cup, when India famously crashed from 90-something with Tendulkar, to 120/8 without Tendulkar in the semifinals. And it’s happened again and again, through the Ganguly, Dravid and Dhoni eras. There have been victories that should counteract my nervous condition (the Mohali Test, especially), but for whatever reason, they haven’t.
Maybe this is just my personality (I’m a nervous ninny in real life). But I wonder: do different generations breed different types of fans? Do we ever recover from defeats of the past? (English fans gearing up for the Ashes, I ask you: do you really feel lucky?)
I’ve observed this with quite a few friends and it is true.. you’re sort of programmed to think that way..once Tendulkar is gone, the match cannot be saved by anyone. I think that’s the impact he has had on countless fans :-)..and old habits die hard.
Although, I would say the Dhoni era changed this quite a bit..because there’s not just Tendulkar..there is enough talent in the rest of the team that can complement Tendulkar’s efforts..so success rate is naturally higher.
Elegantstroke is quite right here… but I might add its not just the Dhoni era. The transformation, I believe, started with the Ganguly era. It was sporadic then and a lot more consistent now… but still, that was the start!