India are better than everyone

And are thus honoured with the Champions Trophy white jackets. What an honour.

The final was an odd one, not least because it featured only 40 per cent of the scheduled overs. As soon as they announced it would be 20 overs a side, everyone started talking about six-hitting, but we had hardly any of that garbage. Instead we got a classic, low-scoring wobbler.

Low totals, high drama

India couldn’t score. India could barely get the ball off the square. Quite why no-one really acknowledged this between innings is beyond us – although we can’t prove that isn’t hindsight.

Either way, England also struggled to score. The run-rate climbed and only set batsmen had half a chance of hitting boundaries. When it got to the slog, Morgan and Bopara got a few away but when they were dismissed off successive deliveries, the new batsmen had no chance and ended up looking like idiots. The running between wickets was a bit crap, but everything was already out of control by that point.

This must be some kind of a choke

Numbers-wise, it was an easy target, but when Suresh Raina turns it square, you have to reevaluate what you consider easy. England didn’t really crumble to quite the extent many would have you believe. The required run-rate was much more demanding than it seemed.

But England needed 20 off 16 balls and lost. That’s close enough to move beyond carelessness into other territory. People are weirdly desperate to use the word ‘choke’ any chance they get these days. Maybe it’s because there are so many meaningless matches that we’ve all forgotten what competition is all about. Skill and physical prowess are just starting points and nerve is what holds it all together.

Considering the difficulties everyone was having scoring, we don’t feel England threw away a dominant position. It was fragile even with Morgan and Bopara together because a wicket was likely to change everything – and it did. Once they were out, England needed to show more nerve than India. They couldn’t.

In summary

India were just better. 129 turned out to be a decent target, they bowled and fielded fiendishly and they were more confident in themselves when it came to the crunch.

But both teams can be happy. At some point during the match it was announced that Steve Smith had been added to Australia’s Ashes squad, so while India are undeniably in credit, England have basically broken even.

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15 Appeals

  1. Great match. Good tournament. Best team won. I am more annoyed by everyone’s reactions on Twitter than I am about the result. England played above themselves throughout the tournament and very nearly won it. We will win the Ashes. Let’s have a bit of perspective.

  2. yes let’s… not get over-confident..! cautious optimism has to be the order of the day

  3. Thanks for some much needed perspective KC. Having seen the white jackets England obviously did the right thing in not winning.
    This final and tournament in general did make me ponder- whither Matt Prior?

    • What IS the rationale behind not playing your best keeper, who also happens to be a fairly explosive and dependable bat, in 50 overs games?

      I can understand not using him in 20/20 but not the longer form.

    • King Cricket

      June 24, 2013 at 10:24 am

      They just really want Buttler in the side, but they also really want all the other batsmen in the side too and there simply isn’t room unless one of them takes the gloves.

      They also believe that he has the potential to become a very tidy keeper in time and are prepared to sacrifice something in the short-to-medium term while he works towards that.

    • Wicket keeper wise I would like to see Mr Prior given another shot, he’s best with gloves and decent with the bat. I understand the rationale for getting Buttler in (and he is clearly a good player), but Prior is the better player as far as I can see. He wants it too, he’s said that on countless occasions.

  4. Stupid weather.

  5. Daisy and I invented a new dish tonight:

    Chicken Dhawan.

    Actually, it is roast guinea fowl with roast taters, bread sauce and all the trimmings.

    OK, that’s not really a new dish; simply a topical name for an old dish. But that’s what most new dishes are, folks.

    Anyway, it was very tasty and we felt better after we had eaten it.

    We were pleased that everyone got to see an exciting game of cricket in the end today and reconciled to the fact that the best team in the tournament won it in the end.

    But England did come pretty close, so of course it was disappointing to us that England didn’t grab the spoils.

    • Who ate the moustache, you or Daisy?

    • The moustache is represented by an artistic drizzle of thick, highly reduced gravy on each plate, shaped to remind you of that astonishing hirsuteness you know you have seen before. It is called “Ravindra Jus, Deja Vu”.

      In short, we therefore both ate the moustache.

      There is also a highly alcoholic version of this gravy, made with port wine and brandy, known as “Shicker Dhawan gravy”.

      Full recipe available on request.

  6. I take issue with the idea of breaking even. Mickey Arthur’s gone, caught behind, probably off of Clarke.

    • What I particularly enjoyed about this – made even better by Clarke’s resignation as selector, is that the implication is that the selectors have been making terrible selections – which cannot fail to undermine the already fragile confidences of the Ashes squad selected by the aforementioned incompetents. The whole situation is breathtakingly beautiful.

    • Darren Lehmann is described as “an excellent communicator”.

      Do I recall correctly him getting into trouble for communicating (presumably, in Cricket Australia terms, excellently) using overtly racist remarks on the field of play, not all that long ago?

  7. King Cricket

    June 24, 2013 at 7:42 am

    By the way, we meant to raise the possibility that England’s lack of nerve might be a byproduct of their love of planning; that players raised to play to well-defined plans might feel bereft, lacking in certainty and therefore more nervous when confronted with a rapidly-changing match situation.

    • Agree with that one. Thats been one of the explanations for south africas problem over the years.

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