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World Cup 2019 press conferences spoke a lot about the captains

World Cup 2019 press conferences spoke a lot about the captains

Bengaluru, July 18: The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 finally came to an end on July 14 although many were left wondering what had actually determined the winner for the two teams in the final had rubbed their shoulders till the end of the battle and yet there was zero run that had separated the two. It was England who got to lift the trophy by the virtue of hitting more boundaries - a criterion that had baffled several cricket-lovers.

This was an interesting World Cup. Even though it looked a four-team affair to start with, some stunning outcomes had opened it up to make the business end exciting. And one aspect which had spoken abundantly about the psychological warfare this WC has been is the press conferences. Captains facing the press did their best to come up with satisfying explanations.

There were also candid expressions from captains as well as talks over disappointment and tension after losing games. But never did the captains have a sword-crossing session with an otherwise vigilant media. Barring the act of boycott by Sri Lanka after the Australia game or Shoaib Malik's 'refusal' to leave the stage while announcing his ODI retirement, there was not much of odd instances at post-game meets.

Eoin Morgan's composure at press meets was impressive

In the past, English captains have been seen detesting the ‘one against all' set-ups at press conferences. But Eoin Morgan hadn't taken the course of his predecessors like David Gower and Mike Atherton when it came to facing the press, even on the most disappointing of days. Morgan's composure after his team was thumped by Australia at Lord's in the league stage was something to appreciate. He had said that his side's chances of making the semi-finals after the back-to-back defeats to Sri Lanka and Australia were "still strong". Former cricketer like Kevin Pietersen had targeted him and Jonny Bairstow's frustrating reaction to ex-players was telling but never did Morgan lose his composure. England thereafter went on to win four consecutive matches to lift the World Cup. Morgan's "Allah was with us" remark after conquering the world was no less significant, politically speaking.

SA captain du Plessis also handled media meets well

SA captain du Plessis also handled media meets well

South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis was another individual who impressed people at press meets. His side had a devastating start to the campaign by losing the first three games - against England, Bangladesh and India - and was left to clutch on to the pride of representing his country on the highest stage. He even said he would be lying if he overlooked the fact that SA's humiliating exit would hurt his legacy. And speaking about the Proteas not resting their players enough or that AB de Villiers had approached him far too late for a WC selection were issues that required some guts to reflect over in public. But one supposes with his career in the twilight zone, du Plessis required less diplomacy to survive the day.

Finch's humble face was nice to see

Australian Aaron Finch was another captain who did it well in handling the press. Unlike some of the superstar Australian cricketers of the past, Finch never cared to make his appearance a larger-than-life one. Even after playing some big knocks, Finch never lost his humble being and although it was perceived to be boring for an Australian captain not carrying it with swagger, Finch left a lasting impression at the end of the day.

The mature captain in Virat Kohli

The usually raw Virat Kohli also showed signs of maturity in this World Cup. His expressions of respect for team-mates like Mahendra Singh Dhoni even when he came under criticism showed the real captain in him. Yes, he had a couple of slips on the ground when the umpire's decision had gone against him but yet, Kohli's conduct in the press conferences was a treat to watch, especially when he answered to a little girl ahead of the England clash.

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Story first published: Thursday, July 18, 2019, 10:38 [IST]
Other articles published on Jul 18, 2019
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