The Trumpet turns 47 in a couple of weeks time – today he witnessed an England team win a global tournament in a major sport for only the second time (England having won the William Webb Ellis Trophy in 2003 beating, er…, Australia in the Final). Here’s how the Immortals (well, Immortalishes) did their bit for their country’s (okay, one of their parent’s country’s) cause.
Michael Lumb – At 30, a very late call-up to the colours on the back of some IPL experience (not that IPL experience mattered in this tournament). His job was to biff the new ball and, with England’s best strike rate of 141, he delivered that part of the brief. An average of 19 suggests that the biffing didn’t last long enough to deliver the full spec.
Craig Kieswetter – After Jonathan Trott’s summons for the Ashes decider, the second big call in six months that National Selector, Geoff Millar, got unequivocally right. Hit 11 sixes, but played circumspectly when conditions demanded. Man of the Match in the Final, after taking 25 off ten balls as England seized the initiative halfway through their innings. His keeping is still mechanical, but an acrobatic catch and smart run-out shows potential. He is 22!
KP – Poor shots to the balls that got him out, but world-class shots to all the other deliveries. Man of the Tournament despite going home for the birth of his first child. After losing the captaincy and spending long periods injured in 2009, he is back with a bang and strutting like he did when he had a skunk on his head. For a man often said to be selfish, he gives everything for his team, not least in the field.
Colly – Looks out of form making centuries, so looked hideous making barely a score over a fortnight’s cricket. Held up The Trophy though, and that’s all he and his team – for his team they most certainly were – will care about.
Eoin Morgan – Started the fortnight with a bang, faded a bit, but finished it with a bang, hitting England out of a stutter in sight of the finish line. Has rare gifts for an England batsman – invention, bat speed and total self-belief. These are rooted in superb balance at the crease which, despite a modest record in domestic cricket, must propel him into the reckoning for ODIs and Tests.
Tim Bresnan – Always seemed to be bowling a tight over when needed and making smart runs when required. Will never look a thoroughbred in any of the game’s three disciplines, but does an invaluable job as the talent plays around him
Luke Wright – Swipes and misses more often than swipes and hits, but offers a hitting option deep in the order and a bowling option that can hit the bat hard. Like Yusuf Pathan, can demolish second-rate attacks, but is soon found out by international class bowling.
Michael Yardy – Must have been surprised to be bowling so often and batting barely at all. All T20 sides seem to require someone to deliver flat darts and Yardy did so, seldom getting collared and with the character needed to come back after big hits and do his job.
Swanny – Must think international cricket is very easy indeed. Took ten wickets at 14 conceding just over a run a ball, with nobody getting after him. Whisper it, but might be the next T20 skipper.
Stuart Broad – Eyebrows narrowing with disgust (his version of McGrath’s chuntering), he resented every run scored off his bowling. His height ensured that he conceded fewer runs than Mitchell Johnson. Needs more wickets to be world class, but is getting there.
Ryan Sidebottom – Even he wouldn’t have expected to have got in ahead of Jimmy Anderson, but he played all seven matches and took ten wickets to boot and even fielded passably. Has a winner’s medal – who’d have thunk it?
Ravi Bopara – Played one match and continued his run of being on the edge of great wins.