Monday, June 22, 2009

ICC WT20- PAK are Champions!

Well ever since India were knocked out of the tournament my interest in the whole thing had waned. But it is still a world cup and I'm sure guys out there from Pakistan and Sri Lanka were following their teams and were really excited for the big final.
When the T20 game was conceptualized I'm sure most cricket fans feared that, with this version, the domination of bat over ball would be complete. Great bowlers seem to be a rare and dying species. And most countries seemed to be preparing flat beds for both domestic and international matches, where the ball would never spin or swing, so that the cricket could be "entertaining". Scores in excess of 300 in ODI's and 200 in T20 were a common feature.
This World Cup was different. Full credit should go to the groundsmen and administrators in England who had the courage to keep sporting wickets throughout the tournament.
Batting heavy sides like India and Australia were found wanting. While teams that were more balanced like Sri Lanka, Pakistan, West Indies and South Africa performed exceedingly well and made it in to the semis.
It is to the credit of the organizers that it was the two best bowling sides in the tournament that made it in to the semis. Their vision might have just revived the dying breed of bowlers and I hope the Indian board has taken notice and decides to do something about our own tracks. The Sri Lankan team were unbeaten in the tournament. Pakistan had peaked at the right time and made a surprise victory over South Africa in the semis, who until then were firm favourites to lift the cup.
Pakistan played to a plan from the beginning and it was only Sangakarra's brilliant effort with the bat and some swash-buckling cricket from Angelo Mathews the brought some respectability to the total. However it did not prove enough and Shahid 'boom-boom' Afridi's half-century was enough to see the Pakistanis through. Pakistan have always been a supremely talented side. The problem has been with their temperament. In Younis Khan I feel they've found a leader who can guide them in the right direction. He reminds me very much of the old Dhoni. He's calm and cool under pressure. He says the right things in the press conference. Is shrewd and tactful in his cricket.
I remember Younis said in a press conference that his team were taking the tournament lightly and were more intent on having fun than anything else. Compare that with the obvious pressure that the Indians were under. And also note how the 2 teams ended the tournament. :)
Dhoni has come under intense scrutiny from the media. From being the media-darling he's been transformed in to the media-villain. It will be interesting to see how he comes out from this. Being the big fan I hope that he comes out tougher and stronger.
Next on is the India vs West Indies series starting in five days time. I'm not sure if I will blog for those matches as I'm moving out of town. I will try and keep my posts coming. Do drop down every once in a while. Take care. Cheers! ;)

3 comments:

issam said...

This world cup has perhaps been the most uninteresting one to me... Probably because of the overdose of Cricket...
But well, full credit to the English groundsmen. And Mr boom boom Afridi made it a no contest for the Srilankans..
Anyways, looking to read more from you...
Do keep us entertaned! :)

A New Beginning said...

Hi Ajai, though I am not a cricket fan at all,(with due respect to ur interest in it), but I must say that you have great writing skills.So all the very best to you!
Keep up!Have a great week ahead!

AJai said...

@issam
Couldn't agree with you more. Yes, there has been an over-dose of cricket. We say that and yet we follow all the matches! I think it's wired in our DNA.

@sana
Thank you so much. But don't stop at that. Please be critical when you can. I admit I've been blogging mostly about cricket. I hope to move on to other topics that you may enjoy reading. Do continue to drop in. :)