Much like it did four years ago, the Cricket World Cup has served a powerful reminder of how big stage, knockout sporting contests can be twisted in the most unpredictable ways by an invisible force known as pressure.
It takes a damned fool to make a bold prediction about a World Cup contest because pressure shows up with the inevitability of a drunk uncle at a wedding to spark feelings and reactions that the main characters never knew were in them.
Pressure makes heroes and villains wherever it goes. It crushes some and emboldens others but never quite in the way anyone imagined.
On any other day, India's vaunted top order batsmen would have hit and giggled their way past New Zealand's seemingly meagre total.
But it wasn't any other day. It was a World Cup semifinal, heavy with expectation and that fact alone compromised the decision-making of the best and most experienced players in the world.
A seemingly meagre total suddenly became a near impossible target much like it did at the 2007 Rugby World Cup when the All Blacks only needed three points to win the quarter-final and had 15 minutes to get them.
This is what pressure does – it makes the simple seem difficult. It turns the near impossible into the possible and it can transform a side previously struggling into one that can't do anything wrong.
The Black Caps limped into the semifinal, uncertain, erratic and mostly written off as a credible threat, much like France came into that 2007 quarter-final a largely dispirited group having done nothing to suggest there was much rugby in them.
World Cups, be they cricket, football, rugby or netball, are held hostage by pressure and yet strangely even the most ardent and committed followers of sport seem to be taken by surprise when it shows up and changes everything.
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For those whose sporting love is rugby, the events in Manchester should be taken as an opportunity to definitively understand that once pressure has finished its work in England, it will head to Japan in September and cause havoc there.
It makes no sense for teams to deny it exists even if they can't see it or touch it and yet some will underplay its probable effects.
Disaster awaits those teams who decide to ignore it and hope it goes away and yet even to confront it head on, to try to be braced for its effects in the heat of the contest, provides little or no guarantee this imposter will be tamed.
But having learned the hard way, the All Blacks will take the head-on route later this year. They see that as the only way, having tried in the past to pretend pressure isn't real, only to find themselves buried under it then broken by it.
At the last tournament they made a significant breakthrough in realising that pressure is omnipresent in their world in a way it's not for their opponents.
It was a eureka moment as it provided them with a psychological weapon of sorts.
They knew they weren't immune to it, but the important thing is they came to see that every other team was potentially more vulnerable to it.
No other team lives with such relentless expectation as the All Blacks. No other team is expected to win every game. No other team has such a legacy to protect, so much riding on their ability to preserve and enhance it.
The All Blacks are never given any respite from pressure and hence the World Cup for them, to some extent, is an extension of normal life.
This meant the All Blacks headed to England in 2015 with a sense they were simply taking an old, curmudgeonly, high maintenance companion with them.
One whose strange and unpredictable ways they had become accustomed and one whom they accepted wasn't invited but nevertheless, wasn't going to leave.
The second part of this realisation was that most, if not all of the teams they encountered, would be feeling the jump in pressure.
Pressure, of the intensity which the World Cup brings, is not omnipresent in rugby's other leading nations and hence the All Blacks knew their opponents would be liable to make mistakes they normally wouldn't.
The certainty of that brought composure to the 2015 All Blacks as they knew that if they were patient, pressure would throw them a bone: that their opposition would succumb to it as some critical point.
And sure enough, South Africa couldn't nail a critical lineout late in the semifinal and Australia scrapped for a ball they shouldn't have in the final and yielded the points the All Blacks needed late in the game.
Pressure made its presence felt all tournament. England, as hosts felt it more than anyone, and when they should have kicked a penalty to secure a draw with Wales they went for a lineout.
That one bad call effectively saw them dumped out of their own tournament in the pool round.
Wales forgot to defend their blindside in the last minutes of their quarter-final against South Africa and Ireland descended into compound errors when they realised they hadn't prepared to face a Pumas side that would be so good at moving the ball.
Every team that made the last eight in 2015 felt the impact of pressure at some stage. Some, like Ireland and England, were hit so hard by it that they disintegrated and maybe the reason the All Blacks won that World Cup was because for them, the pressure gauge didn't change the way it did for everyone else.
"At World Cups you have got everybody trying to win," All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said from the depths of Rome's Stadio Olimpico last year after his side had finished their season with many doubting their readiness to defend their title.
Although the All Blacks had beaten Italy with ease that day, the defeat to Ireland the previous week had seen many elevate the men in green to World Cup favourite status.
The loss in Dublin had hurt but Hansen knew it meant nothing in the context of the World Cup as by then, pressure would be bearing down on the Irish and everyone else, with a venomous force.
"When we play, everyone is trying to beat us," he said. "And if they beat us, they could still lose every other game that season and have a great year because they have beaten the All Blacks.
"When you go to the World Cup you are going to get judged on whether you win it or not. And it is not just us. Any Tier One union that has any hopes if winning it will be judged ... so Ireland, Scotland, England, Australia, South Africa and Argentina are teams that will go there hoping to win and therefore their fans will also be hoping they win.
"That will bring pressure that doesn't normally come because you have got to win every game. You might be lucky and lose one in the round-robin and still make it, but you have still got to win every game in the knock-out rounds or you go home.
"So that brings a pressure not many teams are used to but for us we live with that every day."
Pressure has one last assignment at Lord's this weekend before it inevitably shows up in Japan and makes and breaks all sorts of sporting dreams.