Cricket

A golden dream shattered

SWIFT AND AGILE: Dwayne Leverock's spectacular effort to dismiss Robin Uthappa was one of the talking points of the 2007 World Cup.

SWIFT AND AGILE: Dwayne Leverock's spectacular effort to dismiss Robin Uthappa was one of the talking points of the 2007 World Cup.  

The lead-up to the World Cup in the West Indies was one of excitement. As a youngster you always dream about playing for the country, and figuring in the World Cup was more than a dream.

Our preparations were spot-on, and as we headed to the West Indies there was this good feeling within the team.

Leading contender

We also did well in the practice game against the West Indies at Jamaica, and we finished the game early.

We were all keyed up for the campaign and we had a very good batting line-up with Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Sourav Ganguly, captain Rahul Dravid and Yuvraj Singh.

We were among the leading contenders and we thought we had everything going for us.

The game against Bangladesh upset our plans. Our batting failed and it is hard to explain. We did not take Bangladesh lightly but by the time we realised what was happening the match was over.

We were all upset and knew that we had to win the next two games at all cost.

The next game against Bermuda, in which we scored 413 with Virender Sehwag cracking a 114, was a one-sided match but for me it became unforgettable for all the wrong reasons.

Spell-binding catch

That spell-binding catch that bulky Dwayne Leverock took to dismiss me became something special in that World Cup. Maybe, I can console myself by saying that I became a part of something special. However, to this day, all my friends remind me of that catch and make fun.

We had to win the next game against Sri Lanka and we were very positive.

The Sri Lankans scored 254 for six and when Sehwag and I went in; it got a bit restrictive as Chaminda Vaas bowled a tight line.

We then tried to go hard at the bowlers. We were aggressive but lost wickets regularly and soon crashed to defeat. I remember the dressing room at Port of Spain was eerily silent.

State of shock

We were dumb-struck; we could not believe that we were out of the tournament in a span of seven days. All of us were in a state of shock.

It is strange that when I think about that tournament not many memories spring to mind. Maybe it is the human body's defence mechanism that erases unpleasant memories.

After we crashed out of the tournament, Australia defeated Sri Lanka in the final but all that seemed distant.

Personally, it took more than a month to get out of the depression that affected me. I did not have a great tournament and more than that the team had a bad outing.

Special moments

In a disastrous tour, the only special moments were the hope with which we first landed in the West Indies and then another one was when I prayed for the team after the team meeting at Jamaica ahead of the warm-up game.

All the players were aware of my faith in Jesus Christ and I was asked to lead the team with a prayer. That was special.

To be honest, the 2007 World Cup is something that I wish I can forget.

(K.C. Vijaya Kumar in conversation with Robin Uthappa)

Concluded

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 4:48:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/A-golden-dream-shattered/article15448325.ece

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