Maninder Singh reveals that the lingering pain of the 1987 semi-final defeat still haunts him, yet the heartbreak at Wankhede has gradually faded from the nation’s collective memory.
Is the 1987 World Cup semi-final defeat a source of concern for you? Maninder Singh, a key player in Kapil Dev’s tournament strategy, reflects, contemplates, analyzes, philosophizes, and ultimately addresses this question. The memories of Graham Gooch’s sweeping, his misfires falling in unreachable areas, India’s inability to secure 45 runs in the final 10 overs, and arguably the finest World Cup squad up to that point failing to clinch the trophy are painful to revisit.
The retrospective examination is both agonizing and necessary. In the days ahead, India will once again embark on an emotional rollercoaster ride. The history of the World Cup illustrates a recurring pattern in how fans respond to India’s performance, and it’s advantageous to be mentally prepared. If the home team puts up a valiant fight, no matter how heartbreaking the outcome, the fans remain understanding. It’s only when there’s a feeble surrender that the supporters lose their patience. That’s when the whirlwind of expectations transforms into a tempest of frustration and resentment.