Small shout out to Pat Cummins for being the antithesis of all this - he's very much a modern man.

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“as it was in 1983, when they lost to India, back then a kinder country than it is now—more self-effacing, less triumphalist and ugly”

As an English kid who emigrated to Australia as a kid each summer meant support whichever team played against the arrogant Aussies

Watching India over these decades has been fascinating, the team and its attitude seemed to match the growth of the nation over those years

So in 1991 it was a meek India that I cheered for being bullied by Borders Aussies, the symbol being the mild mannered Srinath charging in as best he could defending tiny totals but with Tendulkar, also mild mannered but full of potential, giving a vision of the future

Then 99/00 was a bit weird coming off the back of the match fixing stuff and Tendulkar was the classic ‘make the best player the captain not choose the best captain’

But the following year tour of India with the more assertive Ganguly as captain indicating the growing strength and confidence of India as a country and what a series with the immortal 2nd test

The Ganguly era continued the growing assertiveness, flowing into the Dhoni era where u saw the new young cool India and the old Srinath era meekness was gone and maybe too a fault with Sydney 07 but that was a marker of India flexing its power and then you got to the Kohli era, the mature confidence and arrogance of Kohli totally unthinkable in the early 90s teams again seemed to match the growing confidence and yes, arrogance, of India as a nation beginning to recognise its strength on the world stage

I really do believe there is something in this link between the cricket team and the country (too long for a reply to a Substack post to explain properly but just something as a politics watcher and cricket fan I’ve noticed over the years)

Is this recognised within India as well?

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“one would have to travel very deep into the hinterland to find anyone indifferent to cricket. “

I’m guessing this is just a turn of phrase so this is just a question not a criticism but I would have thought the deeper into the hinterland you go the more the love of cricket would increase

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