Musings by Shekhar Nambiar
The cricket World Cup has come to an end after nearly two months of pulsating excitement and fluctuating fortunes.
Fortunes did fluctuate for India in the end. India entered the final with a 10/10 score, yet they lost to the Australians, who lifted the cup convincingly.
A section of disappointed crowd at Narendra Modi stadium on Sunday
Our cricket team left the cheering and pitching 130,000 Indians disappointed. As wickets fell like nine pins, a hushed silence descended on the Narendra Modi stadium. Despite the three quick Aussie wickets in the second innings, they recovered soon and raced to a comfortable victory.
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The Aussie strategy was exactly what they had deployed for their semi-final encounter with the Proteas. Slow, steady-paced batting with the full knowledge that they had the skills, capacity, and all the time in the world to get to their target.
The Indian first innings saw player after player floundering to some wonderful and accurate bowling by Starc and Hazelwood. The Aussie fielding was immaculate with great efforts at stopping boundaries and restricting India to an easily chaseable total.
Air show to musical symphony at Narendra Modi stadium on Sunday before the world cup match started making the event memorable
Events for the finale
No effort was spared to make the day a memorable one. The IAF Suryakiran aerobatics team flew sorties in the sky, displaying their prowess. It flew in one last time over the Aussie huddle who chose to bowl after winning the toss. A cultural potpourri of singers and dancers was the feature during the innings break.
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Play started at sharp 2 pm, Rohit facing Starc. There was much expectation from Rohit and he didn’t disappoint initially after the quick loss of Gill.
Head splendidly taking Rohit’s mistimed shot. It was a turning point in the final. Head excelled in batting as well as fielding.
Much to the disappointment of everyone, Rohit, facing Glenn Maxwell, mistimed a shot to Travis Head for a brilliant catch. True to his form, he scored 47 off 31 balls with four fours and three sixes. Rohit has drawn flak on social media for “gifting away” his wicket.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi consoles pacer Shami
India never really recovered and with the exception of KL Rahul, the others didn’t contribute much to putting up a decent total.
Superior batting lineup
It needs to be said that apart from the top five batters, there’s not much batting power in the team unlike the Aussies whose long batting lineup gave them the confidence even after their loss of three top order batters.
Lessons from defeat
The Australians won because they are a superior team who displayed their fighting spirit and played fearlessly.
Their superior fielding, agility and quick movements across the field, and some great bowling, with line and length
Modi makes Rohit and Virat smile
stood them in good stead.
Team India needs to learn some more lessons, the selectors expand and strengthen the batting order, and improve the on-field performance. Catches win matches, but it is equally important to stop batters’ onslaught and not give away boundaries.
There are many more takeaways from the debacle but that can wait for debate for another day.