..it indeed did. Nine years is a long time, but then when it came, it was all the more sweet. Few would remember that the last time he hit a ton in a winning final was against the Zims in 1999. He's been there all this while, scoring runs at a scorching rate, but when it came to the finals, it looked as though the law of averages seem to catch up with him. Perhaps it did him this time as well, probably this time the other way around, since he hadn't scored many in the earlier games.
Fantastic knock, which was not as imposing as the one Hayden played earlier in the day, but it was balanced. Talk about cricket being played as much in the mind as outside. There weren't many outrageous punches off the backfoot or the booming straight drives, instead what we saw was creative batsmanship at his best. This was mind over matter and no brownie points for guessing who won.
Being an ardent fan that I am, I was literally praying that India wins the toss and bats first at the SCG, since I've hardly seen teams chasing successfully on that ground. The pitch gets a lot slower and lower as the day progresses, and although the ground is at its magnificent best under the lights, it has more often than not been a burial ground for the chasers. But at last it changed..
A great game all in all - the Aussies showed why they are the best fielding side in the world yet again which meant that the Indians had to chase an extra 25 runs. They did and with the master there to see it till the end, it was all the more beautiful. I'm not saying that the Aussies are past their prime or anything else. There's still daylight between them and the others, but its good to see a few teams at least take the game by the scuff of the neck and give them a fight. After all any game needs two 'teams' to make it a contest.
I really expect Gabba to be everything but SCG in terms of the pitch. Indians are one up, and the Aussies are a bit wounded. Some fellow Aussie bloggers want their team to hit the deserts once again as they did when John Buchanan was the coach to strengthen them up. Interesting.. all I have to say is ask Stephen Waugh first - he'd have some scary stories about the desert storm he witnessed way back in the summer of '98 at Sharjah!