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Did Team India have a secret ATTITUDE?

world cup

2011 ICC world cup is not the first cricket world cup for India. India has been world champions in the 1983 world cup and the 2007 T20 World cup. But the third world cup was a tad different. In the 2011 World cup tournament we saw a different Team India. One could see a special ‘attitude’ that was extra-ordinary and exemplary in many ways. What was this exceptional attitude that Team India showed on the field?

Team India did in style. What a thrilling world cup final it was. The end was superb too, with a Maha Sixer by none other than Mr.Cool Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

From the start, this world cup was an open contest as there were no dominant teams. But some cricket pundits like the 1983 World Cup winning team member Syed Kirmani favoured India confidently said

“The Indian team for the 2011 World Cup is one of the most well-balanced units comprising maximum number of match-winners. All the players from top to bottom are match-winners. Anyone from the group is capable of winning the match for the country. Starting from captain Dhoni to iconic batsman Tendulkar to devastating Sehwag to Gambhir, Yuvraj, Suresh Raina or Yusuf Pathan … it could be just anyone.”

This assessment of Team India’s prowess was proved correct, but the match winners were all batsmen. Even Maestro Sachin in a post final interview confirmed this pool of match winners. Pretty much any batsman upto the no: 8 Bhajji could have won the match. But on the final day, it was the captain who was the cool Mah?rathi – the gritty Mr.Cool Dhoni who finally got India to victory.

In an objective assessment, with a group of seven top batsmen of which three are closer to retirement, Team India was not too dominant as it had a moderate bowling attack.  Despite that Team Indian won. It was evident from the last 3 critical matches against Australia, Pakistan and the finalists Sri Lanka that there was a special trait – a special attitude that gave India the results.

One thing was clear – Team India never panicked under pressure. In fact, in the finals the team kept an amazing cool even after Veeru and Sachin departed quite early chasing a good 274. I’m sure many of us switched off the TV and went to sleep after Sachin departed. Despite these initial blows, what made Team India stick to the job? What was that secret attitude that made India triumph?

Perhaps, Team India put into action an ancient principle of performance. May be it’s a coincidence that Team India demonstrated a unique attitude which seemed as a carry forward of an ancient Indian formula. India has known this attitude for generations as the ‘Yogi-attitude’. This antiquated approach is about peak performance and achieving victory with an attitude of calmness, balance, confidence, equanimity etc. What we saw Team India do was onfield ‘karma’-fication – a collective karma of performing to one’s potential without getting distracted.

‘Yogi-attitude’ is about the power of mind with an amazing calmness which Captain Dhoni embodied. Santosh Desai, one of India’s best-known social commentators, in his blog title called Dhoni a ‘Yogi with a sledgehammer’. Desai blogs

“Perhaps Dhoni represents a form of wisdom that manages to find the timeless from within the noisily transient. He shows us that we can participate in all the tumult and glitter of our shiny new lives, that we can make crores of rupees and enjoy the best of material rewards and find a way to convert all that into something pure and still, something that makes us connect with what really matters. And that we can find a quiet form of eternity in the cacophony of today.”

This certainly sounds like a ‘Stithaprajna’ – man of wisdom according to the Holy Gita.

A reviewer on the net writes glowingly about Dhoni:

“Mahendra Singh Dhoni is 100%Karma Yogi in action…acutely aware of present moment & fearless in going about doing what is right as per his conscience.”

This review may not be too much off the mark. Dhoni and his men seemed to have shown the world how true ‘Yogis’ operate under pressure. They showed us how to be task focussed with the qualities of poise and single-pointedness of mind.

A newspaper report stated “With tears in their eyes, Team India dedicated the Cup of Pride – the ICC Cricket World Cup- to the 1.21 billion plus nation”. Harbhajan Singh who burst into tears with the win said, “This cup is for them. I thank each and every Indian. This cup belongs to you guys. Love you India”. This again is an example of a‘Yogi-attitude’ – of dedicating the results of action to a higher goal of the nation.

Finally, as the world cup anthem ‘De ghumake’ goes, this cup was about “Juta hausla badal faisla – “buck up and change the game”. De Gumake – “Swing It Hard”. All things considered, Team India appears to have taught us a few lessons on teamwork, performance under pressure, staying calm and focussed.

Team India showed us what the Holy Gita said about the ‘Yogi-attitude’ that ‘Yoga is skill in action’ ~ ‘Yoga karmashu kaushalam’.

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