The wheels have finally turned. England now have the World T20 Cup. Paul Collingwood’s men had lost a contrived match to West Indies due to rain. Otherwise, they didn’t let anyone come near them.
The key for Australia has been the early clutter of wickets their pacemen manage. England lost their second wicket only in the 14th over.
Australia’s pace attack lay blunted. What Australia couldn’t do, England did brilliantly. They executed their plan to perfection. They took out three Australian wickets in the first three overs. It gave them a stranglehold, which they never relaxed. Their bowling was precise, varied yet unrelenting.
England used bouncers sparingly to keep the Aussies on the back-foot. The support to this bowling was nearly as good in the field.
Australia’s early overs had become predictable whereas England’s approach early on was perfect. They mixed caution with aggression and put the pace attack to the sword. Early overs, in both innings, were key to England’s triumph.
This World Cup has underlined the role of specialists. Bowlers must take wickets, batsmen must score runs. This may become the trend in one-day cricket as well. You might do well with bits-and-pieces players in the sub-continent but it wouldn’t take you far in major events. The grip of the sub-continent’s team in this format has loosened. After the first two finals, where sub-continent’s team featured, this one had the game’s oldest rivals competing for the top prize.
Their fielding also is a cut above the India-Pakistan-Sri Lanka troika. The likes of India will always suffer unless their effort in the field perks up.
If England can do it, India can do it as well. This ought to be the motivation for South Africa. They too need to get the monkey off their back.