Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Of Turnarounds

turnaround [ˈtɜːnəˌraʊnd]
 a complete reversal of a situation or set of circumstances
(This is one of several definitions of course).
I am a supporter of Arsenal football club and the Indian Cricket team. What has happened - first on Sunday, as Arsenal beat Sp*rs 5-2, followed by today's incredible chase of India to score 321 in less than 37 overs against Sri Lanka, has been quite staggering.
Both these performances, on their own are tremendously impressive, but the background makes them quite unbelievable. For this to happen with both my sports teams is a very happy coincedence as well.
Arsenal, having probably their worst season in a long time; coming off back to back cup defeats - a quite clinical dismantling at the San Siro by Milan to lose 4-0 in the CL Round of 16 1st leg, followed by a rather dispirited effort at Sunderland to lose 2-0 and go out of the FA Cup. Facing their bitter local North London rivals, Tottenham, having probably their best season in 50 years, and ahead of the Gunners by 10 points - on course to avoid St. Totteringham's Day for the first time in 15 years ! Arsenal, in serious danger of losing their place in the Top 4 for the first time in Arsene Wenger's reign. Add up all this and you have a team in disarray playing their in form rivals and down 2-0 in the first half an hour at home. At that time, as a fan all you are doing is praying to avoid a humiliation. To then score 5 unanswered goals and play with a belief and style that has seemed long lost, is quite incredible. What was looking an ominous afternoon in a cauldron, in front of supporters, possibly on the brink of a mass mutiny, was converted by the end, into a carnival filled, with surprising joy and disbelief. It was a TURNAROUND of epic proportions.
India, on the last leg of a long, forgettable tour of Australia. Coming off two back to back defeats and virtually with no chance of making the finals; a team whose batting is in disarray and bowling is, rather inept. Facing a rejuvenated Sri Lanka side, who have among other things, just beaten Australia twice in a row, seemingly on top of their form. To then concede 320 runs and being asked to make an impropable chase of that in 40 overs was well, just not on. Or so we thought, before the team finished that off in just over 36 overs !!. It was a stunning TURNAROUND !
As a sports fan, you face defeat of may different types. This wonderful article mentions 13. Conversely, just occassionally, we get a chance to experience truly special, unforgettable victories as well. Over the last three days, I have just had two really special ones.
We all love stories of comebacks and turnarounds. In life, these things do take time. Coming back from a personal loss or a business failure or a serious illness, can take months, perhaps years. Sports, however, is life in fast forward. You can experience incredible lows, or as in these two cases, incredible highs, in a matter of hours, even minutes. It is moments like this, which justify my idea of never giving up ( or rather switching off) from a match which I have started watching (or as it happens more often these days - follow on the net). You just, never know. It is this, which makes it all worthwhile. And it can make you feel so good, like this.

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