So yet another ICC event is complete. If you are in India you might be fooled to believe that IPL was the more important event. The World Cup evoked hardly any interest here, save the brickbats handed out to Dhoni and co. But belting the leather on flat feather beds is hardly a satisfying experience for the true cricket lover – no sir, he is not fooled by the superlatives that the IPL commentators dished out nor by the swaying of the cheer leaders. Yes it has it’s place as a family entertainer but for cricket quality, at least for now, you can’t beat country vs country. The pride , the intensity and the team spirit – priceless, for all other things you have Modi.
Looking bat there were some great performances in the tournament which the English won (at last) and I have listed below my top five performers
5. Mahela Jayawardene – Blessed with sublime timing and touch, Mahela expressed his creativity like never before. Its nice to see this true mordern “Great” cricketer stamp his presence on the big stage. VVS Laxman, Mahela and Mohd. Yousuf – in that order are the leaders of the touch players association, never hitting the ball in anger. Mahela provided the initial spark to the tournament with his poetic batting in idyllic West Indian settings. This was one for the cricket romantics. Though he fell off in the later part of the tournament, he had done enough to remain the tournaments top scorer and have one of the best T20 centuries against his name.
4. Kevin Pietersen – England’s only superstar batsman was in prime form and maintained the consistency to lead England to the trophy. Pietersen’s game is a blend of Dean Jones, Matthew Hayden and Viv Richards but it is uniquely his own. He still has to reach the heights of those mentioned but his uninhibited aggression makes for compulsive viewing.
3. Michael Hussey – Mr Cricket gave the T20 WC it’s greatness, the best T20 innings to date and the match of the tournament. He had a very good tournament averaging almost 94, courtsey a lot of not outs and the famous Hussey consistency.
2. Dirk Nannes – I favour bowlers for the top two spots, since the game is so much for the batsmen and it takes something special to provide good performances. Nannes was all fire and brimstone for Australia and was the main reason that Australia had a relatively easy lead up to the semis. He flopped in the Semis and Finals but was the bowler who gave the Aussies the edge and bowlers a say in the tournament. He along with Tait and Johnson formed a formidable trio and he ended up as the tournaments leading wicket taker.
1. Greamme Swann – A controversial choice I am sure but Swann gave England the steel in their bowling that they never had before. Not afraid to toss the ball up to all batsmen and taking crucial wickets, he typified the English resolve and as the impact player he is my best player of the tournament