Protean flavour to English triumph

Protean flavour to English triumph

Pietersen the obvious star, but Collingwoods men had multiple heroes throughout Caribbean sojourn

Protean flavour to English triumph

Sir Garfield Sobers hands over the Player of the tournament trophy to Kevin Pietersen. APWhether it can even be rivaled with Ashes glory or not is another matter, but if Vaughan were to reflect on his views he made not so long ago, the Yorkshireman would perhaps be regretting tempting fate.

The Ashes-winning captain had openly expressed his displeasure over the South African influx into the English squad. As it turned out, it was the Protean duo of Craig Kieswetter and Kevin Pietersen that realised England’s dream of ICC silverware.

England were the only major Test-playing nation not to have won any significant limited-overs title. On Sunday, the Englishmen ended their long wait for a world crown in stunning style.

Kieswetter, who became an English citizen only three months ago, was the man of the final and Pietersen, who moved to England many years ago, bagged the man of the tournament honours.

Fifth time lucky

England had on four previous occasions made it to the finals of the one-day World Cup and the title round of the Champions Trophy in 2004, but each time they had finished second best.

Though the two right-handers played key roles in the successful chase, England’s victory, it must be said, was the result of a consistent team performance well reflected in the way they played the final.

Barring paceman Tim Bresnan, who otherwise was impressive with the new ball, almost all other members had some role to play in England’s trouncing of the formidable Australians.

“A lot of credit goes to every single player in the dressing room,” said skipper Paul Collingwood after lifting the coveted trophy.

“To have the confidence to go out there and really give it their best shot and have no regrets, I think we have done that throughout the tournament and it has certainly paid off.”

Best England side

As Collingwood had pointed out earlier, without doubt this is the best England side in the shorter format in a long time. Barring the rain-interrupted match which they should have won against the West Indies in the first phase, England’s performance has been near flawless.

Without looking as intimidating as Australia, England have been quietly impressive, but they reserved their best for last. It’s not easy to beat Australia in a final, let alone dominating them the way England did.

“We’ve had a lot of belief, and the guys have thought very well for themselves and made the right decisions,” observed Collingwood about his team’s show in the tournament. “In the end, we’ve turned up on a big occasion like this and we’ve performed.

“I’m absolutely delighted with the guys. We knew it was a monkey on our back. We knew what it meant, and that is why I am so pleased that these last two performances in such pressurised situations were absolutely spot-on.”

It could be argued that the Aussies didn’t play to their potential, but that would be greatly undermining the Englishmen’s superiority on the day. It was clear that England had their plans well chalked out and executed them with great efficiency.
Their bowlers got on top of the Aussie batsmen from the word go and except during the assault by Cameron White and David Hussey, they were in total control of the proceedings.

The Aussie bowlers were expected to make a fist of a competitive total on a bouncy pitch, but it was instead the English batsmen who called the shots. The usual verve and purpose in the Aussie attack were grossly missing and Kieswetter and Pietersen literally toyed with them.

It was as if a different Australian team had taken the field, though England deserve all the credit for making their traditional rivals appear so brittle.

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