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1983: Beating Expectations 2011: Meeting Expectations
Everyone remembers Neil Armstrong as the first man on the moon, but nobody talks of Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin, who set foot on our satellite a few minutes after his mission commander, he says much to the collective amusement and selective chagrin of his students.
He drills home the point that history only remembers the pathbreaker with the follower mostly remaining in the shadows. But, the Virus mantra may not necessarily hold good in the sporting arena, where every record is only ever remembered till broken. Carl Lewis became a hero after he broke the sub-10 seconds barrier at the 100 meters dash in the 1980s but the flavor of the 21st century is Usain Bolt who clipped a further 0.5 seconds of that mark.
All of this sounds logical from a present day perspective, but ask those who watched that epic face-off between Carl Lewis and Canadian Ben Johnson at the Seoul Olympics and they continue to worship the American sprinter as the original. So what, if Ben had clocked 9.79 seconds and won the race that day? What if he hadn't tested positive for banned steroids and lost his medal and first place to Carl? The sporting fan had idolized Lewis as the Master of Sprint and Usain Bolt will forever remain his successor.
Something akin to the above story is panning out for the victorious Indian cricket team now. The euphoria of that blissful evening at the Wankhede Stadium on April 2, 2011, seems to giving way to the "Mahasangram of Pyjama Cricket" in the form of the IPL-IV. Neither the Indian team nor fans like us are getting a chance to celebrate the win...to watch replays of the three great knock-out matches that India played to pocket the "Cup that Counts".