That’s the surprising conclusion we’ve drawn from the last few weeks of cricket. More on this and a review of Australia’s win yesterday in our final World Cup column for the Mumbai Mirror.
We’ll maybe have a few points to make about the tournament as a whole in coming days (not today, we’re taking a day off), but we’d just like to say that in general we’ve really enjoyed it. Some of it was flat, but it didn’t seem as lifeless as a few of the previous instalments and in New Zealand, Mitchell Starc and India’s bizarre surge in seam bowling ability, there were some great stories to follow.27 Appeals
He just had a bad day once upon a time. Seems a long time ago. We just about managed to remember that far back for our Mumbai Mirror World Cup final day piece, in which we also expressed the hope that the team with no spinner should lose.
We started typing this with New Zealand needing 10 wickets. We were going to say something about how we hoped that turned out to be a very specific moment in time, when lo! Aaron Finch was dismissed…11 Appeals
This World Cup really hasn’t turned out as batsman-centric as people imagined. Batting-centric, maybe, but not batsman-centric.
Australia have Steve Smith and a whole bunch of minor contributors. New Zealand have four overs of Brendon McCullum and then everyone’s a little too shell-shocked to really know what’s going on after that. More on this at the usual place.12 Appeals
There was a long and rambling food analogy that didn’t make it into our review of the second semi-final. It would have been something about Finch’s innings providing a decent amount of substance without really affecting the quality of the meal/Australia’s performance to any great extent.
We also highlighted where India went wrong. If you listen to Shane Warne, his ilk and probably most modern coaches, cricket matches are decided not by ability, but by the degree to which the combatants display nebulous qualities like ‘energy’ and ‘intensity’ and whether or not they ‘back themselves’.
As a writer, we back ourself to call Warne a guff-talking dullard whenever necessary, but we can’t promise that we’ll do so with either energy or intensity.9 Appeals
Steve Smith was due. Famously, he’s barely scored a run these last few months. Definitely due.
As you all know, whether or not a batsman’s ‘due’ is a watertight method of predicting who will and won’t perform. This morning we gave the denizens of Mumbai the benefit of our expertise on this subject.21 Appeals
Or, in other words, the semi-final report we promised you yesterday.
It’s also worth noting the contribution made by Dan Vettori. Thanks Dan for being one of the few players to keep his side of the bargain after being named one of our World Cup cricketers to watch. Shame on half of the rest of you for not playing much, if at all.18 Appeals
We know what you guys are like. The last thing you want to hear about after a fantastic semi-final is that fantastic semi-final. You’d rather wait at least 24 hours to hear what we have to say on the subject, until a point at which the emotion’s faded and you’re now more interested in the other semi-final.
We know what you’re going to say. You’re going to say: “No, it’s okay. You can write about New Zealand v South Africa if you want. We’ll tolerate it.” But it’s okay. We won’t inflict that on you. We’ll instead deliver the tonally-inappropriate offering you crave – a bleak piece about the pseudo-death that is a cricketer’s retirement.16 Appeals
That’s what we’ve written about for the Mumbai Mirror. It’s not just about Dhoni though. It’s also about conviction in general and how an epidemic of uncertainty can sweep through a side at a major tournament.
In other words, it’s yet another piece about stuff England did wrong masquerading as something broader and more inclusive.14 Appeals
But it seemed to come out as a Dan Vettori piece.
Big beardy Dan. Back from retirement. Keeping it tight like one-day cricket hasn’t changed at all in the last decade and leaping about like a man roughly the same age but not quite so decrepit.5 Appeals
The players, the coaches, the fans and the media told England that they needed to be making 350-plus scores to do well in this tournament. The 2015 World Cup wasn’t just going to be about run-scoring; it was going to be about phenomenal, unimaginable run-scoring. Look at what India are doing! Batsmen are making double hundreds EVERY DAY.
India, for what it’s worth, have reached the semi-finals of the tournament despite a top score of 307. None of their batsmen rank particularly highly in the list of top run-scorers. However, they have bowled out the opposition in each of their seven matches and they have won every game.
India, of course, have conviction. They don’t mimic other nations. They do what they feel they need to do to win one-day cricket matches. More on this as well as a valuation of the damnation of tinkers over at the Mumbai Mirror.16 Appeals