There are a lot of things that I wish existed in this universe. I wish Tony Stark was alive in End Game. I wish Martin Guptill missed that run out of MS Dhoni. I wished New Zealand was on the other side of the result on last Sunday. I wish a “Multiverse” exists like in that Spiderman movie so that I can imagine what would have happened in those crunch moments of the World Cup final on a parallel universe.
Here, we take a look at those close moments that went against New Zealand and in retrospect how it could have been in a parallel universe.
- In the 7th over of the first innings, Chris Woakes hit the back-pad of Guptill with a sharp in-swinger. It looked out on real-time and was given out by Kumar Dharmasena. Guptill discussed with his partner and walked away without asking for a review. This meant that the review was available for New Zealand to use for the bad decisions that were bound to come. Only if Guptill hadn’t taken the review!
- It was the 34th over of New Zealand innings, as Mark Wood pitched the first ball full, swung it in and hit Ross Taylor on the pads. Marais Erasmus thought for a brief while to deny the appeal. As the replay of ball-tracking showed, it was missing the stumps. Ross Taylor lived to fight another day, to do it for Martin Crowe his father-figure. He stayed not out till the end, scored 87 runs and took New Zealand’s total to 276. Only if Erasmus hadn’t given it out or the review was available for Ross Taylor to make use of it!
- In the first ball of second innings, Trent Boult kept the length full and swung it back into the right-hander. Jason Roy was hit on the pads. Again it was Erasmus who was on the line of making a crucial decision and he gave it out. It looked out on real-time replay as well. The ball-tracking showed a major part of the ball hitting the leg stump saying “Umpire’s call”. Only if Erasmus had given it out.
- Colin de Grandhommewas brought in as a first bowling change in the eleventh over. He bowled a full slower ball on the stumps. Johnny Bairstow was early into the drive, pushed it towards the bowler and Grandhomme gathers it on the full in his follow-through. Bairstow got out for 18 off 33 balls. England was two-down by the end of the eleventh over. Only if Grandhomme had caught that!
- In the 4th ball of 49th over, Neeshambowled a length ball outside off-stump and Stokes swiped across the line aiming for a six. There Boult took a regulation catch and threw it up towards Guptill before he fell over the boundary line. Guptill who was running towards Boult from mid-wicket completed a simple catch. Or rather the duo made it look simple like they have done on multiple occasions. Ben Stokes was OUT! And New Zealand got closer to the trophy! Only if Trent Boult had tossed it up before he landed on the rope!
- In the last over of the England innings with 9 runs required off 3 balls to win the World Cup, Boult bowled a low full-toss and Stokes tried to smash it towards the mid-wicket boundary and started running for two. Guptillwho had run Dhoni out in the semi-final, ran towards the ball, fumbled while picking it up and threw it towards the stumps at the keepers’ end. Stokes made a comfortable two courtesy of that misfield by Guptill. And seven runs required off two balls to win now. Only if Guptil had fumbled while fielding/throwing!
- In the super over, New Zealand wanted 2 runs from one ball to win and Guptillwas on strike. After a poor World Cupwith the bat, this was his moment. Jofra Archer ran in and bowled a full-length Yorker at Guptill’s foot as he was standing outside the leg stump. Guptill, took inspiration from what Jadeja did in the last over of the third ODI against New Zealand in 2014 at the Eden park and moved his feet towards the stumps and making that ball a “WIDE”. Scores were level now and Guptill still had one ball to score one run to win the World Cup. Only if Guptill had remembered what Jadeja did!
Only if a Multiverse existed, only if a couple of moments had happened like I mentioned here in our world, only if Kane Williamson got to win the World Cup and of course Roger Federer won another Wimbledon! Well, there’s no multiverse and England are the World Champions by the number of boundaries they scored after a tie in the super-over. Taking nothing away from England and Ben Stokes who played the innings of his life, heart goes out to the Blackcaps!
This sport is always about “ifs” and “buts”! It can always be stimulated in various ways once it’s done. Irrespective of the results on last Sunday, July 14, 2019, gave us the best cricket World Cup Final ever and an epic Wimbledon final. It kindled so much emotion, gave so much joy, despair, and showed us who we need to look up to.
To all those kids growing up, if you want to know what sort of person you want to grow up as, look at Kane Williamson and Roger Federer! Watch them, read about them and learn from them! They are the kind of people you have to look up to.
Only if I had 10% heart of what Kane Williamson or Roger Federer has, I would have been a far-better human being.
Love you, Kane! Take a bow, Roger! BlackCaps you are an inspiration! Keep inspiring!
Picture courtesy: https://twitter.com/BLACKCAPS