A Journey Through Time
Reflecting upon the illustrious 2019 World Cup Final, one can almost perceive the lingering echoes of the crowd, the palpable tension in the air, and the sweet symphony of bat striking ball. Joe Root, England’s cricket maestro, still finds his thoughts swirling around the miraculous victory that England clinched, a victory that seemed almost ethereal in its nature.
“It’s rather like a dream, isn’t it?” Root muses, “We were the underdogs, yet the taste of victory is all the sweeter for it.”
A Personal Struggle
Probing deeper into his individual contribution, Root is candid, “It was not my finest hour with the bat, quite the contrary.” His performance, a mere seven off 30 balls, was a stark contrast to the grandeur of the stage, his first innings for England on free-to-air television. The slow pitch and Colin de Grandhomme’s deliveries were his undoing, a combination he refers to as his “kryptonite”.
“The match was rather tedious,” he recalls, “until, of course, it transformed into the most thrilling game in history.”
The Pulse of the Final Moments
Even with the passage of four years, the last half hour of the match still accelerates the heartbeat, the anticipation building up for the upcoming rematch in this World Cup in Ahmedabad. The air is thick with unspoken words and unresolved feelings, especially for New Zealand, who still harbour a sense of injustice.
Root, despite his personal struggle, cherishes the match as one of his most treasured games, a testament to cricket’s essence where individual efforts blend seamlessly into a team’s triumph. “It’s about being part of something greater, where your comrades lift you up through your failures,” says Root.
The Aftermath and Reflections
The victory was monumental, but the celebrations were short-lived. The subsequent Ashes series saw England struggling to recuperate, and the World Cup’s euphoria lingered, overshadowing their performances. Root laments the lack of time to truly relish the World Cup victory and to transition smoothly to the next series.
Root’s prowess, especially against spin, is crucial for England’s success in the spinning pitches of India. His experience and knowledge of the conditions are pivotal, and he is determined to elevate his game for the World Cup. England’s formidable batting depth, experienced core, and diverse bowling options make them a strong contender, aiming first for a semi-final place.
The Journey Together
Root, along with Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes, has traversed through the cricketing world together since their under-19 days. The camaraderie and shared experiences form the backbone of the team. Root is indifferent to his individual performance in the final as long as England clinches the victory, and with De Grandhomme retired, he breathes a sigh of relief.