Monday, September 24, 2007

The brand new chamions of the brand new cup!

Wham! Booms! That's all you can hear in the Indian sky today. Everyone is busy celebrating. Yes, they have brought it home. After beatings, brickbats and a write-off by almost everyone. A world cup finally after 24 years! Not the same cup, a new one, but not any less important. The only small thing about the Twenty20 tournament was the number of overs. In everything else, it over did the ODI by a far margin. Great entertainment, great spirit, great shots, great cricket! And those Sixes!
How comfortable to go home in the evening and get glued to your television for three hours. 3 hours - that's all it takes to wind up two innings. And because of the fewer overs, you do not have to wait till the last few overs to find the excitement. It is there throughout, waiting at the edges! In a single match, the game turns to either side several times.

The final was of course the icing - even an off match between India and Pakistan has the thrill and tension of a world cup final, so a final between the two was bound to be a breathless roller-coaster ride. Both teams played excellent cricket and gave their fans and supporters many reasons to cheer.

India was terrific in the series. They played with the cool-headed aggression that they have always been blamed of lacking. And it paid off. In every match we found them turning the match in the last over, with a stroke of good bowling or a sustained effort at fielding every run. The team pulled it off without the traditional spearheads - Tendulkar, Ganguly and Dravid. Dhoni lead the team with exceptional tactic, being the clear leader. As Gavaskar put it - you could always see the team looking at him in the field, which is a true sign of a leader.
The best part of course was Yuvraj's six sixes. Had he done any better in the final match, no one could take away from him the glory of being the Man of the series. But for India, he would remain the ultimate hero for the tournament after turning the significant matches with England as well as Australia in complete style.
RP Singh showed great bowling, unlike Shreesanth who was consistent only in his tactics rather than the bowling. The latter could do better than to annoy the batsman with his drama on the field and adopt a little bit of finesse.
At the end of the day, it was a delight to see India the team win, rather than seeing another one-man showmanship that always architects India's fate. Well done.

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