There is a very heartening news item, that Bhuvneshwar Kumar has donated 1 lakh rupees to the flood victims. He has become the second cricketer to donate after veteran Harbhajan Singh, who has already donated Rs.10 lakh. Earlier, Shikhar Dhawan had also dedicated his man of the tournament award to the flood victims. Respect for these gentlemen.
Now, over to the main write up.
Even though five days have passed, the fragrant memories of the historical win for India in the Champions Trophy final against England are still afresh. It was one of the greatest days for Indian cricket.
The impeccable finish to the campaign by Team India was made possible through the all-out efforts put in by one and all. The perceptions that many a times India loses because of a lack of killing instinct, or underperformance have gone now. This became possible only due to the bold strategy of captain Dhoni. This match had some history wrapped around it, being the last match of Champions Trophy, as well as the 100th match in the tournament’s history.
To be honest, prior to the start of the match, everybody was cursing the weather, but once our wickets started tumbling, our prayers turned the other way round – wishing rain drops could save us from possible defeat! But then, the equation changed with the extremely high spirit of the young and capable warriors of Dhoni. A barely reasonable target became difficult to chase. Dhoni had belief in the talented Bhuvneshwar Kumar, R Ashwin, Ishant and Yadav.
England, from the very beginning, were looking like a strong contender on account of a good compact team, with the advantage of playing at home. Also, the stats appeared to be favourable for England. Out of the 31 matches played at Edgbaston, England had won 19 matches – that comes to a 61% win ratio, whereas India had won 3 out of 6 played at the same venue which comes to a flat 50%.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan had said prior to the finals that England do not show any fear or choke in big games these days. Also, England’s James Anderson had already taken 10 wickets before the finals at an economy of 3.84, and he was stated to be able to trouble any given batsman.
A couple of write ups in the UK media before the grand finale seemed tilted towards England on account of their solid batting lineup consisting of Trott, Morgan, Cook and Bell. The only positive factor noted in otherwise pro English articles appearing across various platforms was that the Indian supporters, as usual, will outnumber the England supporters.
Interestingly, while comparing Shikhar Dhawan against Anderson, many gave higher weightage to Anderson on account of the Englishman’s vast exposure. Cook was also projected as a player who could easily dominate India’s best bowler – Kumar. All this didn’t really materialize as projected.
But then a billion dollar question needs to be answered – what really happened to the mighty English team? This match was being played on their home ground. Many of the fans believe that this was nothing but overconfidence that their ship sank miserably. So much so that I had read somewhere that England was taking this match as a warm-up game before the Ashes.
On the other hand, team India has successfully delivered the message to one and all – gone are the days when our players used to give up easily. Who knows this terrible defeat of England might boost Australia for the Ashes. A young Indian supporter perhaps had correctly exclaimed – what a miserable defeat for England, even Kenya could have given a better fight from that position.
Anyways, Dhoni has again led Indian team to a glorious victory, raising our hopes for the upcoming tri-series in the West Indies. Although the series has been touted as a less important one, it would be a decent overseas test for the Indian team. The pitches are expected to be a mixed bag, supporting spin as well as seam, and hopefully the Indian bowlers can make the most of them. Let’s hope for the best as another world cup is just two years away!