Melbourne Cricket Ground

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ICC World Cup 2015: Australia are champions of the world

To tell you the truth, I did not really watch much of this World Cup’s final featuring Australia and New Zealand.

Switching on the telly after returning from morning Mass, with Brendon McCullum gone cheaply, it would be an uphill task for the Kiwis to compile a formidable total. Two more quick wickets followed and I switched off the set-top box.

For a partisan Indian supporter like me, the final held no thrills or attraction. Most World Cup finals have been one-sided affairs and there was no reason for me to believe otherwise.

Catching up with the morning news, Michael Clarke’s farewell announcing the final would be his ODI swansong caught my eyes.

“A World Cup victory would be a great way to sign off,” were my immediate thoughts. And I dwelled again on  the emotional eulogy he delivered at Philip Hughes’ funeral. Clarke will always have his share of detractors but that was the day he displayed how far he has travelled from being ‘Pup’ and the ‘Bad Boy’ of Australian cricket.

Noon and the Kiwis had folded up for 183. Despite Sunil Gavaskar’s vain attempts at drawing comparisons between the ’83 final and Sunday’s mismatch to keep viewer interest in the game alive, it was evident that barring a miracle the Australians were well on their way to being crowned five-time champions.

It was so, with Clark crafting a well-made 74.

Australians were world-beaters yet again.

ICC World Cup 2015: It’s Australia versus New Zealand

Stephen Rodger Waugh, former professional cric...

Stephen Rodger Waugh, former professional cricketer and captain of the Australian national team, photographed at the Sydney Cricket Ground at the start of the Test match against South Africa in January 2002 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s final.

The home sides will face-off in another Transmanic match-up on Sunday the 29th of March 2015 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

The Australians clinically demolished Team India’s cup hopes with an all-round display of aggression and intent with the bat and ball. They backed it up with tight fielding barring a few hiccups,

Who will it be?

New Zealand can take comfort from the fact that this is probably their best side ever and that they have beaten the Aussies in the league phases.

Now the crucial encounter is in their arch-foes’ backyard.

Do they have the gumption to seal off their World Cup campaign with a zealous kiss of victory?

The demeanor of their gum-chewing skipper Brendon Mcullum in the field against South Africa suggests so. He reminded me of tough-as-nails Steve Waugh. Will Australia drop the cup that cheers?

Michael Clark rebuilt the crumbling edifice of Oz following the exit of the best and brightest of their 3-Cup wizards.

Can Clark win his first World Cup as skipper?

Fortune favors the brave and the brave are not easily felled at home.

My pick: Australia. Can McCullum and his chums spell otherwise?

Tony Abbott: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t

Tony Abbott is not a member of the anti-sledging camp.

English: Tony Abbott in 2010.

English: Tony Abbott in 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What he said:

“I couldn’t bat, I couldn’t bowl, I couldn’t field, but I could sledge, and I think I held my place in the team on this basis, and I promise there’ll be none of that today.”

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott jests that he was a sledger-par-excellence during his Oxford University days.

The premier was addressing the Indian cricket team at tea hosted at at Kirribilli House in Sydney on Thursday.

Abbott is a former captain of Oxford’s Middle Common Room team of the Queen’s College at Oxford.

Revealing his thoughts on Steve Smith’s delayed declaration during the Melbourne Test, the university cricketer said:

“When I told people last night that I was lucky enough to be hosting the Australian and the Indian cricket teams here today, the only question that they assailed me with was `What did you think of the declaration?’.

My initial thought was it was none of my business. My further thought was that Steven Smith did absolutely his duty, because it is his duty to put Australia in the strongest possible position because, as India’s batsmen have repeatedly demonstrated this summer, you can never take India for granted.”

What he really meant:

 “The English are not the only traditionalists. Australians too have one—sledging—and I carried it all the way to Oxford.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“Unparliamentary language, chaps, unparliamentary language. Just not done, Steve and company.”

MS Dhoni: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t

Mahendra Singh Dhoni couldn’t be spicier with his final words as Test captain.

What he said:

“Now, even PETA has said that you can’t cosmetically remove the tail.”

Responding to a scribe’s question, “Their (Australia’s) tail is like Hanuman’s. Yours is like a Doberman’s. That must be hurting your side,” India’s outgoing skipper replied:

“Now, even PETA has said that you can’t cosmetically remove the tail. It has been a big problem for us that we don’t have a genuine allrounder. We have tried to play six batsmen and five bowlers before, but then the tail becomes as long as a cow’s … Hopefully, if we can find an allrounder, the tail problem will be resolved. But the tail problem is really a big problem.”

The man who brought back the World Cup to India remarked thus when asked to compare the two whitewashes of 2011 and 2011-12:

“You die, you die; you don’t see which is a better way to die. You end your Test career, you end your Test career. You don’t see which is a better way to end your Test career.”

What he really meant:

“There’s nothing pleasing about the way the Indian tail disintegrates in the face of aggression. Nothing cosmetic about it for sure.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“The Indian tail proudly announces the formation of a new body, PETT—People for the Ethical Treatment of Tail-enders.”


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