Trent Boult’s predictable lengths, Ben Stokes’ redemption and other points after England’s World Cup final win over New Zealand at Lord’s on Sunday.
- For all the hype about Jofra Archer, Mark Wood and Lockie Ferguson’s pace, Colin de Grandhomme showed there is still space for military medium in the modern game. De Grandhomme threw down 10 troubling overs of wobble – and gathered one for 25, which included the key wicket of Joe Root.
- Boult was the most expensive – and the only one without a wicket – among New Zealand’s seamers. Understandably so, as his lengths were predictable. Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler, in particular, realised that Boult’s go-to was to pitch it up. Hence, they just batted deep in the crease to throw off the length. Unlike, say Ferguson, Boult lacked a slower or shorter variation.
- Stokes, remember, conceded a slew of sixes to Carlos Brathwaite as the West Indies beat England in the final of the 2016 World Twenty20. The Englishman has been through the ringer – on and off the field since. Sunday brought some sort of redemption against his country of birth. Big-match temperament reborn, indeed.
Williamson, not, say Warner?
- Kane Williamson was named Player of the Tournament. An interesting choice, given the superiority of David Warner and Rohit Sharma in the run-scoring ranks by a considerable margin. Williamson had the added responsibility of the captaincy, yes, but complementing his award with insistence that he played ‘in the spirit of the game’ is tough to quantify. It always is, with anyone, when compared to definitive wickets and runs.
- The umpires are often the unsung heroes, but the first to be chastised. Unfortunately, it’s tough to look past Kumar Dharmasena and Marais Erasmus’ performances. Dharmasena was guilty of giving Roy out incorrectly in England’s semi-final – and got another wrong on Sunday. Erasmus, meanwhile, was obviously incorrect in adjudging Ross Taylor lbw. Tough work, but standards must be maintained.
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