After five tries at winning a big final, it must have been a night to remember for Sri Lanka. Mahela and Sangakkara have been legends of Sri Lankan cricket and it would have been a huge hole in their careers had they not won a world tournament.
Sunday night, they would have had a time which will remain as golden memories. The situations which occurred during those 40 overs can change the perspective of players to come.
The first to me will be that if you keep trying there is a guarantee of success at some stage, and secondly, this game keeps producing surprises and there is no hard and fast rule to success.
The biggest example is Lasith Malinga. Some of the great names of Sri Lanka cricket, who have been true champions, tried their hearts out to win the cup but here was a man who was given the captaincy by default and went on to win three of Sri Lanka’s biggest games and will remain in history books forever.
Play for the moment
It also strengthens my belief that good captains come out of nowhere and the reasoning behind a succession plan is not the only way to make good ones. Also, it emphasises and opens up a side of the sport which is that you live with the present and play for that particular moment. Looking too far ahead will necessarily not give you results.
Fans in India should be happy with the way India played in the tournament. They were outstanding and never looked to have a weakness till an outstanding day of cricket by Sri Lanka took the trophy away from them. I must say the Sri Lankans came out with a plan and executed it to perfection. It was one of the best bowling displays for a long, long time and Malinga and Kulasekara were unbelievable in the last four overs.
It is sad to see the flak Yuvraj has got. Yes, he got stuck but that was largely due to the exceptional bowling by the two. Here is a man who has won you two World Cups and to go after him for one bad day is a massive sign of immaturity from all those connected with the game. One must understand that like all of us, he is human and can have poor games at times. To sit and say that his career is over is not only harsh but reflects lack of knowledge of the intricacies of the sport.
Chasing 130 was never a big total for Sri Lanka but it did not let the hopes of fans go down, especially after the way India won the Champions Trophy in England. But here the India spinners were up against players who play spin a lot better than the English and hence controlled the game much better. It was a terrific series for Dhoni as captain. He looked proactive, stayed ahead of the game and did no wrong till the rampaging Sri Lankans went past him.
(The writer is a former India skipper)