Imagine it is 2002.
4th Test, India tour of England at The Oval, Sep 5-9 2002. The series is 1:1 and fourth test is a decider.
You tune in as an Indian supporter to watch the match.
Day-1: England is Batting First. Michael Vaughan patiently bats the entire day after building a commendable partnership with Mark Butcher. All the sessions on Day-1 belonged to England and you are already skeptical of India’s chances.
Day-2: In the 93rd over, Michael Vaughan falls five short of his 200, and you start celebrating. However, a late partnership involving DJ Cork and AF Giles takes England to a mammoth 515 in 155 overs. Now it is India’s chance to bat. You want your openers to survive the day. In under four overs, Sehwag falls. Akash Chopra falls in the 28th over.
Day-3: With Sachin in the crease, and Rahul Dravid patient as ever, you want them to build the partnership. You are curious to see Sachin on strike for his lovely straight drives. Unthinkable happens. Sachin Tendulkar falls in the 56th Over with India 178-3. The TV is switched off. You have somehow come to a conclusion that India will lose the match.
What happened next?
Rahul Dravid went on to make 217 in over 450 deliveries after building decent partnerships with Ganguly, Laxman and Ajit Agarkar. This was one of the most fascinating innings by Rahul Dravid which is often ignored because India didn’t win the match. He followed the protocol and left all good balls. He saw how Sachin Got out (lbw b Caddick) and didn’t repeat his mistake. He didn’t play across the line. He scored whenever bowlers committed mistakes. It was a classic innings from Rahul Dravid. What we don’t realise is, it was Dravid’s patience and his ability to hold on to the crease, no matter how long it takes, that helped India survive this match. We were able to draw the match. Rahul Dravid was the Man of the Series. India and England drew the series 1:1.
Narendra Modi might be on course to increase the lockdown in India as we speak. I have been hearing a lot of misinformed youngsters who are running columns after columns talking about the need to relax the lockdown for the economy to survive. This is absurd. Yes, a thriving economy is a victory but if you don’t survive, you can’t win. There is a thin line between victory and loss- a draw, and we must play for that. United States has over 5,33,378 Active Coronavirus Cases with 20,601 deaths (as of now). They were unable to recognise this thin line between an economic victory and death, so the citizens are suffering.
We have to learn from mistakes of our western allies, just how Dravid learnt from Sachin’s mistake of playing across the line. Patience, Perseverance and a pinch of smartness is the key here. This is what India needs right now in order to play for the draw. Don’t go out on the streets, follow the protocol, believe in your government and wait until things are normal. This is the only way forward and we might be losing a lot of money but when it comes to life and death situation, life always wins.
Remember, in any civilisation that has stood the test of times, economy has always shared a symbiotic relationship with health.