Dear Team India,
Why do we react so violently when you lose? Why do we plunge so low when you play badly? Why do we always expect you to win?
Because, deep down, we know you can.
Our expectations are built, bit by bit, from the innumerable feats of cricketing might and magic we have had the pleasure of seeing you perform. Every sweet Tendulkar drive. Every moment of Dravid's defiance. Every Ganguly dance-down-the-wicket six. Every Yuvraj pow-gasp-wow shot. Every time the bowlers dig deep and exceed expectations.
And since you've given us so many moments of sweetness, our expectations are really high. It's that simple, really. If you were always losing, then we wouldn't actually expect you to win, would we?
Yes. We know you can.
And we're reminding you.
So bring it on. The incandescent, mighty batting. (Bermuda was a start, but we both know there will be harder tests) The disciplined, strong, spirited bowling. (remember WC 2003?) The huddles, the high-fives, the smiles and whoops of delight. Dance the happy dance. Play the joyful game.
If you do, you'll start winning. And that would be very nice.
Sure, there are a host of other talented, skilled, and well-prepared teams that have come to win the World Cup. Sure, we may lose to some of them.
But make them earn it. By playing your very best cricket.
Sachin. Sourav. Rahul. Anil. This is it. This is the moment. Make it count. A World Cup Win would be nice. But, really, we only want to see you shine your brightest. And if there's a team on earth that's good enough to beat you when that happens, then they'll be bloody deserving winners.
Go on. Play ball. We're behind you.