Sunday, 16 May 2010

Cricketing Justice

Its been a long time coming - and finally justice has been done. There are two emotions I want to express - One is that England and "English cricket" really deserved to win a World Cup (WC). I mean seeing them lose in '92 as a school kid is still fresh in my mind in some sense- and then hearing about the '87 final loss to Australia at Kolkata. Add the  '79 loss to windies - and it makes a sorry story. Until today - now its changed - England are rightful World Champions.
Secondly, I want to write an ode to this particular side - really to make a case that - this win has not been a fluke by any stretch of imagination. If anything - we are in for a mouth-watering Ashes down-under come December.
It is funny to think that I wasnt surprised at all at the way England won the final - almost as if it was written in the stars ....The point is - England team for this tournament was the most balanced of the participating teams. Look at the way everyone chipped in - its been a good cricketing lesson to see this unit blossom.
Right at the top - Kieswetter and Lumb have been brilliant and for a change - predictably consistent. I think in them, England have found a good opening pair.
Collingwood has been as dependable as ever.
Pietersen has been brilliant - to say the least. I mean travelling across the atlantic and back in the middle of a high-pressure tournament - and then performing as if nothing really happened - is sheer brilliance personified.
Eoin Morgan is a responsible and as good a batsman as the best in English side on his day.
To have a flambuoyant batsman like Luke Wright at No. 6 is kind of a luxury for a team.
It doesnt stop here - the team is so amazingly balanced - that Michael Yardy, the Sussex skipper, is playing the role of a regular bowler - whereas on his day - he is a prolific batsman. To have 5 "regular" bowlers in a T20 game is a luxury - one which only the English team could afford in this years' tournament.
Graeme Swann is turning out to be one of the best English spinners in a long time - attacking when you need it - and containing the runs - if so be the need. Also he seems to have a good head on his shoulders so to say. Definitely seems to be mentally more tougher than Monty Panesar. Personally, I think Adil Rashid from Yorkshire is the next spinner to watch out for - until then Swanny is going to be the man-of-choice.
The English pace trio of Sidebottom, Broad and Bresnan have been amazing in this tournament. All of them have their own styles - and have looked a really complete attack.
Just to sum up - or to prove the strength and balance of this side - try imagining that Broad has the talent to be one of the best all-rounders in the game. I have heard talk of him being compared to Flintoff - but I think he can go farther than that.
To win with such a team - shouldnt really come as a surprise to anyone. Off course I am saying all this in retrospect. I agree that I wouldnt have been saying all this at the start of the tournament - but it has been a nice experience to see the English team improve right through the tournament. I mean you could make out that they were gelling well as a team - each with a defined role (as Collingwood always puts it).
By the time it was finals day - in my mind I was sure England would win - I mean I didnt see how the Australian side could stop this juggernaut. I feel amazed myself to be saying all this - given the track record of Australians in WC finals. But I was vindicated - and it all bodes well for English cricket.
After all the game has its deepest roots here - and it will be nice to see a WC trophy finally making it to the racks of a cupboard somewhere at the Lords - "The Home of Cricket".