LOVE OF CRICKET EMERGES THE WINNER

The members of the cricket squad looked despondent and downcast, with India’s exit from the big stage. But the band of boys would be glued to the TV set, as the action unfolds at Lord’s to watch a new team crowned world champions.They did not hesitate to voice their opinions, critique the performance of the teams and also predict the winners. Their passion for the gentleman’s game was arresting.
Sahil Jadhav of IX F, the wonder boy back from Somerset was candid,”I am rooting for England because the English team is a complete package. Dhoni’s runout was heart wrenching. I broke down as he made his lonely walk back to the pavilion. This would probably be his last world cup appearance.”
Sachin Madhav Kumar of IX F observed,”England has a formidable batting line up and Jofra Archer is the x factor in the bowling attack. The pitch at Lord’s is a green top wicket, a haven for seamers.England go in as favourites as they take on the Kiwis in their backyard.”
Sanat Karlikar of VIIID opined,” The hopes of 1.25 billion fans plummeted as M.S. Dhoni was run out, aptly labelled the run out for all ages. The two young prodigies, Hardik Pandya and Risabh Pant fought to settle India’s ship but it was not to be. Dhoni should have batted up the order at number four. Pant making his debut at the world stage did not have the expertise. Dhoni has the experience to handle crunch situations. I go with New Zealand. They are the celebrated underdogs with Trent Boult, the wicket taking machine on their side. The arena is set for a Williamson- Archer and Root- Boult combat”.
Zaid Patankar of XF, the bowler in the school’s team believes, “Cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties. I was dejected after India’s loss, but it was a close game and the Kiwis outplayed us in key moments of the match. England is the team to watch out, as their bowling and batting are on par. India could have won the semis if the opening batsmen had delivered. Black Caps got off to a flyer and the pressure was on the Indian team. I learnt how to bowl in the right areas in different monents of the match.”
Varun Malick–XFsaid,”The three magical letters, “out” flashing on the screen and the commentator’s telling words,” M.S. Dhoni walks back to the pavilion for the last time in the World Cup left the fans shattered. The runout was the turning point of the thrilling match. Nobody noticed the previous ball was a no ball. The umpiring standards were found wanting. Ravi Jadeja was the star of the match in all departments. Jofra Archer, the player from Barbados, is a joy to watch. He hits the bull’s eye with his piercing deliveries. His journey from being a wicket keeper to a spinner and finally transforming into a fast bowler is riveting. The bowling strategies, the accuracy and the stellar fielding of both the teams are key takeaways for a bowler like me.”
Mahadev Balla of Std. IX F said,”MartinGuptill’s golden arm did Dhoni in and I was devastated. The Jadeja show was a sight to behold. He was firing on all cylinders, taking the game away from the Kiwis, but the fall of his wicket dented India’s dream run. I am backing England, not just for their aggressive openers who counter attack the new ball, but also for their spot on bowling led by their talisman, Jofer Archer. The gentlemen from England are showing why they are the No. 1 ODI side in the world. They crushed the Aussie dream of winning their record sixth title. I don’t underestimate the serene and resilient Black Caps either. As Lord’s await to bless new champs, I await an epic encounter, as the match goes down to the wire.”
Harsh Mendon of XB said,” I echo Virat Kohli’s words that forty five minutes of bad cricket knocked India out. It is important how you handle pressure on the big stage. I give the thumbs up sign to team England.”