Editorial : New champions - Monday 4th April 2011

INDIA have been crowned the new ODI champions after defeating Sri Lanka in the World Cup final in Mumbai on Saturday. Ranked as a top team in the ODIs, in the T20 version and in Tests, India performed admirably in the World Cup. They were beaten once in a pool game by South Africa. On their way to the title, Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men defeated Pakistan and the still-capable Aussies, and tied a game with England, a pre-tournament favourite. The defeat of the talented Sri Lankans in the finals signified the completeness of their campaign.
The final was the triumph of substance over style and artistry. Mahela Jayawardene, an ambassador of the more settled and serene days, played a masterful hand. Maestro Sachin Tendulkar shone ever so briefly with his back-foot punches, but in the end it was left to the grit of pugnacious street-fighters such as Dhoni and Gautam Gambhir on one side and the sling of Lasith Malinga and the bend of an unfit Muttiah Muralitharan on the other to decide the issue. The workman-like course Dhoni and Gambhir took to victory was reflective of just how far the game has come since Aravinda De Silva so subtly took his side to World Cup glory against a matter-of-fact Australia in the 1996 final. Jayawardene’s was in no way a less attractive innings than De Silva’s, but he was rudely pushed into the ranks of the losers by the might of Dhoni. However, not all is lost for the conservative stylists; tempering his fare with a bit of pragmatism Yuvraj Singh has shown that it is still possible for a cricketer to emerge as the best World Cup player without compromising his leg-stump guard and his high back-lift. The enthusiasts are not entirely without choices as the game gains in intensity.

Source : http://www.dawn.com/2011/04/04/new-champions.html

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