Who are the nice guys of world cricket and why they rarely finish last

first_imgThe world of cricket is currently in awe of the New Zealand team after they were forced to finish as runners-up even though the World Cup 2019 final ended up as a tie after the Super Over. Having competed with England on equal terms throughout the match, it must be heartbreaking for the New Zealand team to come to terms with the fact that they couldn’t win the World Cup.Their neighbours Australia, on the other hand, have always advocated an aggressive and in-your-face mindset on the field to dominate over the world for years. However, New Zealand’s example shows that success on the field doesn’t necessarily have to originate from high-pitched sledging and rather nice guys can finish first too.Here we take a look at some of the nicest cricketers going around the world at the moment:Kane WilliamsonImagine you have put everything you’ve got on the field while trying to win a World Cup and the match ending as a tie. The Super Over that is designed for exactly such scenarios also ends up being tied. There also has been an overthrow that hit the opposition batsmen and the umpire erroneously signalled six runs instead of five. Still moments later, you are walking past the trophy because it’s been decided that you lost because of something you did (but could never have expected) a few hours ago. Imagine.Kane Williamson was disappointed too but was still graceful and the closest he came to criticizing whatever had transpired on that fateful Lord’s day was: “At the end of the day nothing separated us, no one lost the final, but there was a crowned winner and there it is.” Any other captain would have cried foul of the ICC rules and made some stinging remarks about how the sport must be played. Not Williamson. Not even on the sport’s biggest stage. If he wasn’t the nicest guy in the world till then, he was now.advertisementChris WoakesWoakes probably went through all the emotions that Williamson did but the major difference being that at the end of the day, he stood at the right side of the result holding the World Cup trophy. If Williamson felt speechless being heartbroken, Woakes didn’t have much to say as well, but due to entirely different reasons.Still, while all his teammates were busy running around Lord’s in ecstasy after the win, Woakes somehow came up to a crestfallen Martin Guptill, who after being run-out while going for the winning run in the Super Over, was still trying to make sense of what had just happened. Along with Kiwis James Neesham and Ish Sodhi, Woakes tried to console Guptill and it became one of the defining images of the tournament.Cheteshwar PujaraPujara is the one guy that I would choose to bat for my life. During the 2018-19 India’s tour of Australia, Pujara not just batted but also bored the Australian attack with his unflinching concentration and calm demeanour. As if scoring 521 runs and 3 centuries in a historic 2-1 series win wasn’t enough, Pujara’s nice guy image even made opposition coach Justin Langer a fan.”…I have never seen a batsman watch the ball as closely as he (Pujara) does, and that includes Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid. His concentration was a challenge. And we have to keep getting better just like him, all our batsmen and bowlers,” Langer had said after India won the series. In fact at times Pujara has been called ‘too nice’ as was witnessed when he was dropped from the Indian side due to low strike-rate on the tour to West Indies in 2016. Pujara didn’t react and kept accumulating runs while wearing a smile on his face as he was soon back in the team establishing himself as one of the key members of the side.Also Read | Martin Guptill’s World Cup story: Poor run with the bat, crucial run-outs and a heartbreaking overthrowAlso Read | World Cup 2019: England hero Jofra Archer privately lamented his cousin’s demise during the tournamentAlso See:last_img

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