The 2019 Men’s Cricket World Cup final at the iconic Lords, is all about the tussle between two extremely talented sides, led by absolute gentlemen, who maintain a very low profile. As far as captaincy is concerned, Eoin Morgan and Kane Williamson are the best examples.
No shouting or overt expression of emotion, Morgan and Williamson are two of the greatest ambassadors of the game. Smiling and easy going, yet very aggressive competitors on the ground, at least as far as field setting and bowling changes are concerned. Win or defeat, hardly evokes any extreme visible expression from the both. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that, they belong to India’s legend, Dhoni’s school of thought.
Morgan and his men tormented, rather mauled the Aussies, both with the ball and bat in such a manner that the otherwise very aggressive Australians looked, submissive and subdued for almost seventy of the total eighty overs played. Rarely the Kangaroos look so helpless as they did at Edgbaston. Jason Roy treated the highest wicket taker and Australia’s trump card Mitchell Starc with utter contempt.
It reminded the battle between Kevin Pietersen and Shane Warne. England made an emphatic statement ahead of the Ashes. This England side has everything of a champion team, talent, aggression, temperament and attitude.
Morgan may not find a place in the test team. However, the way the English Test Captain Joe Root and Morgan gelled speaks volumes of the English spirit. It’s indeed hard to emulate. Not only Root, other top names too responded well to Morgan, who is as under rated as his Kiwi counterpart.
The way Williamson has shouldered responsibility and led the team to this stage is an amazing story in itself. Even while defending a below par total by today’s standard, Williamson looked unnerved and his men absorbed the pressure superbly.
On paper, England is a much better side, but the Kiwis know how to soak the pressure of the moment. On paper England is likely winner of the coveted cup, but a couple of days back the Kiwis proved everyone wrong when they subdued India, which too was much ahead of it, though on paper.
While each member of the English side has been contributing with the bat and the ball, only Williamson and a couple of his bowlers have performed for New Zealand. However, on the field, each Kiwi player has done his bit: remember Martin Guptill’s throw or James Neesham’s catch of Dinesh Karthik at point.
With the two sides, vying for the cup, it’s to watch which team holds its nerves till the last. Both had gone close to holding the cup, both at Melbourne- one way back in 1992 and the other in 2015- but had failed.
The two semi finals cut short the journey of the two top sides in the round robin league. Interestingly, neither of the leading scorers-Rohit Sharma or David Warner could stay at the wicket. Even the highest wicket taker in a single world cup, Mitchell Starc had, probably his worst day with the leather in a prestigious tournament.
Cricket is a funny game.