The world is yet to sink in after the most sparkling game of the 2019 cricket championship. It was a game where both the finalists had their moments to bag the title but the fortunes favoured the hosts in the final lap. In the end, England’s side buried all their ODI demons and the New Zealand team was staring at a dubious record of losing their second consecutive World Cup final.
As usual, the tournament was full of memorable moments which will make this edition a special one for the cricketing fraternity. Batsmen scoring tons of runs, bowlers getting their due back, gravity-defying catches and umpiring howlers were all part of the journey. Along with it, there were some startling moments that will be really discussed for a long time.
Here is the list of five most disappointing moments of the tournament
1. Booing Steve Smith repeatedly
Virat Kohli gesture. (Photo Source: Twitter)
This World Cup was a test of character for the Australian cricket team and they passed with flying colours. Under Aaron Finch, the team made headlines for its actions on the field. Right from the start of the series the Men in Yellow were disciplined as a unit. The side was in complete sync to retain the championship rather than focusing on the return of banned duo, David Warner and Steve Smith. It was going to be tough times for both the superstars as the English crowd is considered hostile but it turned out more ugly.
Especially the former Australian captain Smith got a negative reception every time he set his foot on the field. He was constantly reminded of his past actions with abusive chants. In the game against India, he was booed by the Indian contingent and such was the bitterness that Virat Kohli had to intervene to calm down the situation. Even in the semi-final, the English spectators were rattling Smith with their verbal volleys. It might not have tarnished Smith’s love for the game but such repetitive actions really puts a question mark on the gentlemen’s game.
2. Dhoni at No.7 in a World Cup semi-final
MS Dhoni dismissal. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
With the kind of batting superstars and quality bowling attack, Virat Kohli’s men were always going to make the cut to the knock-out stages. Then it was about making correct decisions and holding the nerves at the biggest stage. Unfortunately, India was not well equipped with their stocks in the middle-order when their top-order had a bad day in the office. In the semi-final against Black Caps, the Indian team was particularly unsure of their correct batting order which clearly made the things more difficult for them in a high octane clash.
Chasing a stiff target of 240 India were reduced to 5/3 and the situation demanded a calm head on the field. All the eyes went searching for MS Dhoni but the team management decided to save him for the latter part of the innings. The finisher tag attached to him was taken too seriously and as a result, the veteran walked out to bat at No.7. MS Dhoni is known for weathering the storm when the side is in trouble but the team followed a pattern that completely backfired. A player who has scored more than 10,000 international runs and played the innings of his life when he was promoted in a World Cup final was used carelessly.
3. New Zealand losing the title on boundary count
Ben Stokes. (Photo Source: Twitter)
It was a World Cup final that might revive the 50 over cricket from ashes. Both the teams fought tooth and nail to get their share of glory. What started as a tricky run chase for England ended up being the most dramatic final in the World Cup history. It was heartening to see that all the players showed great composure even when the things on the field were getting heated up and followed the spirit of the game. In the end, cricket was the real winner but in hindsight one can say that Black Caps were wronged in the final moments of the game.
After playing out a tie it was time for the Super Over to take the centre stage at the home of cricket, Lords. England batted first and managed 15 runs from Trent Boult’s over. The Kiwis showed their resilience and again the scores were levelled but this time the Brits edged the opposition on the basis of boundary count. They lifted the title for the first time in their cricketing tourney. It’s true that the game of cricket can have only one winner but the rule which separated both the teams needs to be assessed. A team trouncing the other side because of their hitting prowess is a vague explanation.
4. Shakib’s all-round efforts go in vain
Shakib Al Hasan. (Photo Source: Twitter)
In a tournament like the World Cup, every team needs their star players to stand up for the side and win games. This series also witnessed a lot of individual brilliance from some of the best talents in the cricketing world. In the batting department, Rohit Sharma ruled the roost with 5 centuries. In the bowling column the Australian pacer, Michell Starc was breathing fire with 27 wickets to his name. During all this the Bangladesh cricketer, Shakib Al Hasan was doing his part for the Asian team and achieved some monumental feats.
Though the Bangla Tigers didn’t qualify for the semi-finals the team had a successful tourney owing to their consistent performances in the group fixtures. Their hero was certainly the No.1 ODI all-rounder of the world, Shakib who was ticking all the correct boxes. He scored more than 600 runs in the group stages which helped him break the record of Sachin Tendulkar. He became the first cricketer to enjoy the double of 500 runs and 10 wickets in a single tournament. Shakib’s all-round efforts were not enough to power the side to its first championship semi-final which can even demoralize a player of his stature.
5. A clear distinction between the top 5 and bottom 5
Points table after the league stage. (Photo Source: Twitter)
The 12th edition of the World Cup ended on a high note with a new team entering the list of champions. The tournament was played over 7 weeks with 10 best teams of the world fighting out in a round-robin format. Before the start of the series, it was regarded as the most important event in the white-ball cricket to put the ODI format back in the cricketing map. Everybody involved in the competition tried their best to make it a memorable one for the audience. A cracking final also ensured that the fans craving for more 50 over cricket but still there a lot of problems to which the ICC needs to find solutions.
Only the top 10 teams were considered in this edition in order to avoid the dull affairs. Apart from a couple of surprises the series never raised to its potential as the top four teams were finalized before the last week of the group stages. Though the sides like Sri Lanka and Pakistan beat eventual champions England it cannot be termed as a huge upset as both the teams are the former titleholders. Along with it only 5 of 48 matches went on to the 50 over the mark when both the sides were in contention of winning the game. The numbers clearly suggest that there is a certain gap between the top five and bottom five and it is not a good sign for the cricket lovers going forward.
These moments from the biggest tournament of the cricket world really left a sour taste in the mouth of cricket lovers.
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