The World T20 was won through batting ability and England’s future is still bright. Yet there are still more issues to be addressed. Sport-Matters looks at why Windies are a team, the capitulation of hosts India and the future of English cricket…
3) The Windies? Not just about Chris Gayle!
Chris Gayle’s run of sixes are known to be as long as his dreadlocks! However, this tournament was not just about the Gayle-Force. The hero of the World T20 Final was Carlos Braithwaite as he put away four consecutive sixes in the last four ball to break England hearts. The whole of the Windies team blew the competition away.
In the final, Braithwaite made 34 runs from 10 balls producing a fantastic strike rate of 340.00 (percentage of runs taken from ball faced). Yet Braithwaite performed with the ball as well as against it- he only leaked 23 runs in 4 over, leading to an economy of 5.75, as well as taking 3 wickets. Braithwaite’s batting partner, Marlon Samuels, was equally impressive as he made 85 runs from 66 balls- runs made up of nine 4s and two 6s. Back to Windies’ bowling, Samuel Badree performed well, leaking only 16 runs in 4 over for a 4.00 economy whilst taking 2 wickets.
The Windies made it look as if they didn’t need Gayle at some stages- he was caught within the first two overs of the Final. The point here is that all of the West Indies players contributed extremely well and deserved to become the first team to win the title twice.
4) India: The Fall of the Giants?
India went into their own World T20 tournament as one of the favourites to win. Having won the inaugural World T20 in 2007, been runners-up in the 2014 World T20 and having beaten the West Indies by 45 runs in a warm-match, all eyes were on India. However, a defeat by 4 runs to South Africa in another warm-match should have been a warning for the bumpy ride they would undertake.
As we’ve already said, this T20 tournament was going to be won on batting and only one India player seemed to grasp this: Virat Kohli. The shining light for India took 273 runs, the second highest of the tournament, and was the main reason behind India’ 192-2 score for Windies to chase in the semi-final. India had consistently low scores throughout this tournament and so were more reliant on their bowling. True, Ashish Nehra took 5 wickets in 8 innings and Ajinkya Raina had an admirable 4.83 economy for the tournament but these figures were not good enough to rely on against the hard-hitting teams.
Kohli was announced the Player of the Tournament- I’m not surprised considering he single-handedly dragged India to their own semi-final!
India had consistently low scores throughout this tournament and so were more reliant on their bowling.
5) The Final Nail In The County Championship Coffin?
The World T20 this year has clearly been a very exciting tournament. From giant-killings to giant hitting, it’s never been a more exciting time to watch cricket and the English Cricket Board may now have more to think about in consideration of the County Cricket Championships. Eden Gardens, the venue for the World T20 yesterday, has the capacity for approximately 60,000 people. The Aussies Big Bash, a six-week T20 tournament down-under, achieves an average of 32,352 people per match. The County Cricket Championships will be starting within two months and they will be expecting average crowds a fifth of the size. Considering England’s success in this tournament, perhaps there may be more evidence for the ECB to think on. The whites are being washed and the Natwest T20 Blast will have to wait- but maybe that will change?