The World Twenty20 may be over, but cricket’s shortest format shall continue to remain in focus for the next couple of months with the IPL set to begin in a few days.
Looking back on the past week, though, it was one which well and truly belonged to Sri Lanka who beat India in the World T20 final that saw the island nation celebrate its sweetest moment on a cricket field since the famous 50 over World Cup win of 1996.
The final of a world championship is always special; for the Lankans all the more so as they were set to bid adieu to two of their most iconic players, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, from international T20 cricket at the end of the match. And they barely put a foot wrong right from winning the toss and opting to bowl first.
After what must rank as one of the best death over bowling performances in T20 history, Kumar Sangakkara ensured his final T20 outing in Sri Lanka colours will be one both he and Lankan fans will forever look back on fondly.
The veteran southpaw had endured a pretty quiet tournament by his standards heading into the final. But, for someone renowned for his timing, he couldn’t have picked a better moment to rediscover his scoring touch.
For India, Virat Kohli yet again demonstrated his appetite for the big occasion. He was instrumental in taking India to a second World T20 final after playing a blistering knock against South Africa in the semis.
Chasing 170 odd is a daunting challenge in a regular T20 match itself, let alone in a world championship semifinal. But Kohli made it look so easy and against a bowling attack oozing with quality. In the final too, he was the one Indian batsman who stood out amid the struggle of the others.
South Africa’s Faf du Plessis also deserves a special mention for the captain’s innings he played against India. He might have been overshadowed by Kohli but it was still a fantastic knock against an Indian spin attack that had tormented every opposition till then.
The pick of India’s spin trio turned out to be Ravi Ashwin who has generally been Dhoni’s go-to bowler in T20 matches. On this occasion too, Ashwin didn’t disappoint and produced an absolute gem to outfox Hashim Amla in the semifinal.
But it is Virat Kohli, for his stellar showing in the semifinal and final, who is the Ceat International Cricketer of the Week.
Professional Management Group