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cricket

What was the biggest surprise

What was the biggest surprise?
Isam: India not making it to the final still surprises me, given their experience and overall skill level. All they had to do was negotiate a strong opening spell from Trent Boult and Matt Henry. They weren’t chasing a big total too.

Farrell: That the expectation of sexy legspin turning teams on their heads was not fulfilled.

Gardner: India not making the final. New Zealand knocking them out, having lost their previous three games, was more surprising than the fact they ran England so close.

Krishnaswamy: The lack of spinners among the top wicket-takers. The four years between 2015 and this World Cup were the years of the wristspinner, but Imran Tahir apart, none of them had a particularly memorable tournament, with Rashid Khan enduring a poor one by his standards.

Samiuddin: South Africa. I didn’t think they were among the very top favourites but I didn’t foresee that they’d struggle so badly and be one of the first teams to be knocked out of contention for the semis.

Miller: The pitches were far less conducive to murderous strokeplay than had been predicted in the build-up to the tournament, and while that came close to sinking England’s tournament after their stumble against Sri Lanka, it also vindicated their eventual triumph as they took their licks, learned their lessons, and ground it out on another dog of a deck in that thrilling final. Elsewhere, Afghanistan’s failure to land a major scalp was the biggest surprise for me. Riven by politics, they were a shadow of their true selves.

Dobell: The pitches. The plan was for absolute belters where 350-plus was par, but we saw scores of 250 defended often. Whether it was the weather or the amount asked of the groundsmen, something went quite wrong there. It created several fun games, but that really was more by accident than design.

Ugra: The speed with which South Africa faded despite having so many gifted, world-class players in their ranks. It was mournful to watch them implode. There were no more jokes to be made about the C word, and Faf du Plessis’ graphic description of what defeat did to teams lingered as the event wore on.

Muthu: Pitches – almost forgot that England in the not-so-distant past was a bowler-friendly place.

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