The best and (some of the) worst of the Cricket World Cup
Australia beat India in Sunday's final to lift the ICC Cricket World Cup trophy at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday.
That brought to an end and eventful seven-and-a-half-week tournament in India from its start on October 5.
TimesLIVE looks at mostly the best aspects, but also some of the worst, of the 2023 World Cup.
New Zealand and Australia were split by five runs in a Trans-Tasman thriller in Dharamsala where the match aggregate was 771. But if you want drama, then the best ticket is always South Africa: they beat Pakistan by one wicket in Chennai and then in the semifinal scrapped to the very end against the eventual champions, nearly making 213 a winning target.
India vs Netherlands. The last match of the round-robin portion and just another cakewalk for India. And then there were the cheap wickets for Kohli and Rohit ... got a bit carried away with themselves there.
This was going to be just Glenn Maxwell and his cramping, wrist-flicking masterclass in Mumbai against Afghanistan (201 not out) and then Travis Head went and played THAT innings in the final (137). Both examples of Australia producing their best when it mattered.
Again, this would have only been Mohammed Shami in India's semifinal win against New Zealand, taking seven-for, but then Cummins, produced a mesmeric performance in the final taking 2/34 including the prized wicket of Virat Kohli to set up Australia’s sixth World Cup win.
Just a filthy piece of work by Sri Lankan Dilshan Madushanka — left arm over the wicket angling across India captain Rohit Sharma and then swing back viciously to knock out the off stump.
Silliness from Mitch Santner to dismiss Ibrahim Zadran against Afghanistan. Running back towards square leg, he sticks out his left hand, dives and completes the best grab of the competition. Shout out to Head (again) for that effort in the final to get rid of Rohit.
Ricky Ponting and Ian Bishop for the intellect and realising that having a microphone means you don’t have to shout. Ian Smith actually knows when to raise his voice and his enthusiasm is infectious. SA’s Natalie Germanous has a soothing tone, and has grown in stature on the world stage.
Most of the rest. Why is Matthew Hayden given a microphone? Why does he wear stupid hats? The same goes for Ravi Shastri — that toss performance is clownish. Make it stop please.
Chennai and Kolkata — genuine atmosphere at both for matches not involving India. The stadiums, the MA Chidambaram in Chennai and Eden Gardens in Kolkata, are two storied venues in India, that are situated in the heart of the cities. Both gave the tournament the feel of a World Cup — and the food in Chennai was the best for any Indian venue.
Pune — the MCA Stadium is situated too far from the centre of a city that is too spread out and still under construction.
“We’re gonna have a bowl.” Pat Cummins after winning the toss before the World Cup final. Ballsy. And then he made it work.
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