Every cricketer dreams of playing this game.
Kapil’s over-the-shoulder catch at Lords, Gatting’s reverse sweep at Eden, Wasim’s searing pace at Melbourne, Mad Max Aravinda’s hundred in Lahore, Inzamam’s heartbreak at Lords, Ponting’s assault at the Wanderers, Gilly’s squash ball at Bridgetown, Dhoni’s muscled six at the Wankhede.
Briliance is magnified a million times, so are any mistakes. The day comes every four years but the memories made today will last forever.
The last time around the World Cup final brought a nation of a billion to a standstill.
This time again it’s being played between the two host nations.
David v Goliath? Might have been the case a few years ago. Not quite anymore.
Today is more like brothers playing in their own backyard.
The bully can’t lose. So the bully bowls underarm.
They meet in a knockout game in 2003. The bully pulls the World Cup final from under the kid’s nose and then waves the prize in his face.
The younger kid is hardly considered a host at their own party.
But now, the little kid has the bully’s full attention.
This World Cup, the little kid has won cricket matches playing fearless, attacking cricket. The type of cricket the big bully invented. But, inexplicably, the little one is being nice while winning games. This has won hearts.
The last time these teams met the little kid came out on top, just about. But the bully kicked and fought and scraped all the way.
Expect more of the same today. The bowling attacks of both teams are evenly matched but Australia probably have the slightest edge when it comes to batting. But New Zealand seem to believe this is their destiny. They were at the MCG a few months ago to visualise this very day.
Today is going to be a cracking game. Pressure, destiny, luck. These will all play a part. Players who have never played a World Cup final will live out their dream. At the greatest cricket ground of them all, the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
A final for the ages. May the best team win.