Are England the new chokers? That question has to be asked after England collapsed from a winning position to lose yet another multilateral finals. The manner in which some of the later batsmen got out was nothing short of blind panic as batsmen played shots that schoolboys would think twice about and there was a runout that was comical to say the least.
This is the fifth final that England have lost in a fifty overs multi-country competition and the manner of the latest defeat does bring out awkward questions about their temperament.
India on the other hand under ‘captain cool’ kept their nerve and when it mattered raised the level of their game to keep the pressure on and just did not give up even when the situation looked tough. They were by far the best team in the tournament and fully deserved to win what is likely to be the last ever ICC Champions Trophy. They are now the only team apart from the West Indies who have won the world trophy in every format of the game.
While applauding the ICC for its decision to extend the playing hours and to give the patient crowd some cricket, it is hard to understand that there was no reserve day for the finals.
Of course the reserve day also could have been as bad as the final day and there could have been no game at all but to have the final of a fifty overs tournament being decided in a twenty twenty format, when there is already a T20 World Cup made little sense and was quite clearly unfair to both teams who had worked so hard to get to the finals.
If it was because New Zealand had to complete its tour of England with the mandatory T20 internationals, then the question is why was the tournament not slotted after the New Zealand tour was over. If host countries are not going to give the best month of their summer to a world cup, should they be given the world cup at all ?
Apart from India every other country gives preference to their domestic season and then has the world tourney and still India gets blamed for all the wrongs in international cricket. England has the world cup in 2019 but the ICC better assert its authority and ensure it is held in July so that there is less chance of rains spoiling the party as it did in this finals.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni has added another feather to his cap by captaining winning teams in all possible tournaments in the game. The only trophy now eluding him is the Ranji Trophy but for that he has to have the time from international cricket to play for his beloved Jharkhand.
Professional Management Group