Feelings are running high in the Indian camp ahead of the fourth test. Not only have England taken our No. 1 Test status, but they’ve also stolen our smug, overbearing, sense of entitlement.
Don’t people in this country understand how hard India’s cricketers, press and supporters had to work to be that overconfident? It didn’t come easily. And now they have to sit back and watch while the English effortlessly take their crown as the smuggest cricket nation in the world.
Yes, we get it. England invented pompous sports arrogance, gave it to the world, and now you feel it’s your turn to bask in feelings of overwhelming self-importance again.
But save a thought for emerging nations still developing their national sports ego. Some countries are only just learning to invest huge amounts of expectation and misplaced self-identification in overpaid, underperforming sports stars.
Just look at the adoration placed at the feet of the Indian squad. And for what? Four months of superciliousness? Because four months is all India got between their 1966 moment and this summer’s 1992 Euro campaign.
And look at Indian cricket now. Reeling from its fall from grace. Struggling for the deluded self-justification that comes so easily to England.
Clearly India still has much to learn about modern sport, and this has been a harsh lesson.
Only if we can win this winter’s ODI series, act as if this summer never happened and declare Saurabh Tiwary worth every penny of his $1.6m IPL contract, will we know we’ve learnt from the reigning masters of sports self-delusion.