What a match. Here are three things that struck us about it:
“People want to see boundaries” – you always hear people say that as if it’s a fact, but this match wasn’t exciting because there were 76 boundaries; it was exciting because it was a close match.
Andrew Strauss’s fours were all important, but no single one of them felt massive. Ajmal Shazad’s six did feel massive, but that wasn’t because it was a six, it was because it dramatically altered the complexion of the game in an instant. That’s what’s exciting.
Man of the match
In high-scoring matches, the man of the match is always the guy who scores most runs, but in high-scoring matches strong bowling performances are actually more significant (as indeed higher scores are more significant in low-scoring matches).
Andrew Strauss was immense, as was Sachin Tendulkar, but when 338 plays 338, Tim Bresnan’s 5-48 was positively monumental and Zaheer Khan’s powerplay spell had as much impact on the result as anything.
Importance of the result
It actually didn’t really matter which way the match went, because both teams should still feel confident of qualifying for the quarter finals. You might not think the match could have been much more exciting, but imagine if something greater had been at stake.
Finally, a word for Ravi Shastri’s inadvertently insightful piece of commentary early in England’s innings:
“India are a very strong side, but if they do have one weakness, it’s their bowling. And their fielding.”