Taking back what's theirs | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 30, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:52 PM, April 11, 2015

Third Eye

Taking back what's theirs

The record 93,000-plus crowd in attendance at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday erupted in joy the moment retiring Australia captain Michael Clarke received the World Cup trophy from ICC chairman Narayanaswami Srinivasan.

The watching world, on the other hand, salutes the class of 2015 after yet another professional display from the Aussies who have made cricket's flagship event almost their own after the demise of the once invincible West Indies team. It's a penta for the Aussies, which means they have won more titles than India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka combined (the three other World Cup champions) and three more than West Indies, who won the first two editions.

It's not the title but the manner in which they won it was again in display against a New Zealand team, whose ambition for a maiden glory ended in nightmare. Kiwi captain Brendon McCullum might have sported a big smile on his face after winning the toss and electing to bat first. Unfortunately, it was the only occasion the Kiwi captain did it right in a lop-sided final.

McCullum, who has earned the reputation as a destroyer of any new-ball attack leading up to the final, failed to connect the three balls he faced before being castled by his tormentor Mitchell Starc. After that it was a demonstration of a predator playing with its prey until yet another resounding victory, a victory which was never in doubt once they bowled the Kiwis out for a paltry 183.

183 is a figure that may have evoked memories of the 1983 final when India successfully defended that total against a complacent West Indies. But the Aussies are a different brand and over the years they have earned the reputation as ruthless professionals who never cease to keep on hitting the opposition until a death certificate is issued. Unfortunately for the paying public they were deprived of watching the full fury of Aussie power (especially their batting), that was evident in 1999 against Pakistan, in 2003 against India and in 2007 against Sri Lanka.

The Aussies, who have taken cricket to a new height, not only added another feather to their imposing crown but also looked like a team already starting its campaign for the next edition in 2019.

No need to guess; just replay the last episode of the final with Michael Clarke leaving the ground after scoring a fabulous 74, his last act sporting the famous gold shirt, and more importantly leaving the baton to Steve Smith – another genius who not only hit the winning runs but also gave the assurance that the Aussie future is even brighter.

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