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.
What he said:
Geoff Marsh is pleased as punch to present the baggy green cap to his second son, Mitch, who made his debut for Australia against Pakistan in the first Test at Dubai on the 22nd of October.
Marsh’s elder son, Shaun, was bestowed the honour by his father in 2011.
“It was quite tough, really. It was a real honour to be asked to do it. It was just pleasing, more pleasing that he’s got the opportunity to play Test cricket.
I’m pleased for both my boys. They followed me around while I was playing Test cricket and coaching Australia. Deep down you could see it in their eyes they wanted to follow in those footsteps and now they’ve both been given that opportunity. Hopefully there’s a lot of cricket left in them.”
On Michael Clarke’s assertion that Mitch could be a future captain:
“It’s nice to hear the Australian captain say things like that.I said to Mitch you’ve just got to take every day in Test cricket one day at a time. Test cricket puts out a lot of challenges, you’ve got to meet those challenges and you only do that through good focus and concentration and working hard.
He’s only a young boy. He thinks about the game a lot. We’ll just wait and see. He’s got to get through a lot of hurdles. He’s only young, hopefully he can just perform well and consistent and see what happens after that.”
What Geoff Marsh really meant:
“It would have been even better if the Australian side were simply a Marsh XI.”
What he definitely didn’t:
“Hindsight is eleven-eleven.”