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Sanjay Manjrekar: Hello and welcome to Cricinfo. We have just witnessed a final that England have won to get their first world title. Ian, just your overall assessment, first of the final, England winning it, and then we will look at the tournament as well.
Ian Chappell: I think England were very impressive. I suppose you will have to say Australia were slight favourites going into the final, but only slight. The things that concerned me with England going into the final were opening batting - I thought they might be bit light on there - whether they could hold their nerve. But they did that brilliantly. Craig Kieswetter played a terrific knock at the top of the innings. The thing about England is that they basically beat Australia at their own game. They played very aggressively, very confidently, and were brilliantly led by Paul Collingwood. I thought Collingwood's game in the final was terrific. He had a couple of slips in to start with. That probably got England a wicket because if he had not got the first slip then they would have not got the rebound catch. He kept his fielders in close inside the circle and that got him a run-out in the next over. Then he took that brilliant catch in the short midwicket position. It was a very inspirational performance. Kevin Pietersen now looks to be back to his confident best and he just guided them home with the bat. So they are looking a very good team.
SM: Also, it was nice to see somebody like Graeme Swann bowling the kind of length. It seemed like every individual in this team had self belief, confidence; something that you would not say about most other English teams we have seen in the past. So would that be the difference between this team and the other teams that we have seen? Every individual in this team seems to have a lot of self belief.
IC: There was tremendous confidence in the England squad, and the fact that they were playing so aggressively was also an impressive part of their victory. England are a damn good side. It was interesting what Collingwood said after they won the tournament. He said: "We looked at the Australians, and we said to ourselves that that's the level that we've got to get up to, and we have been working very hard on our game." You can see that they have improved their game so much. So you take your hat off to them for they are trying to get where they have set out to get to, and they are well on their way.
SM: Yes, it didn't seem like a flash-in-the-pan performance for England. Right through the tournament, they were playing well. One of the most telling comments for me was from Paul Collingwood before the final match. He said: "To be very honest, I don't think there are any areas of improvements for us." And he wasn't being cocky; he was just being honest about his team. That showed just the kind of confidence England had getting into the final. Two of the most impressive teams made it to the final which is always great to see.
About the other teams, disappointed with most of them?
IC: Yes, there was a lot to be disappointed with most other teams in the tournament. Pakistan really didn't do much until that semi-final against Australia, and then suddenly looked like a good cricket team. India looked good when they beat South Africa they but after that they were terrible. Sri Lanka were a bit of mixed bag, there are couple big holes in their line-up. It's ridiculous to still play Sanath Jayasuriya. Play him as a bowler if you must, that's about the only way you can get him into the team. He looked a short duck as a batsman, particularly at the top of the order. Bangladesh were same old Bangladesh. I don't think they have really gone anywhere since they have been in international cricket.
The one big plus was Afghanistan. They showed tremendous spirit. In fact, they showed a thing or two to Bangladesh. I mean if Bangladesh could find that sort of spirit, with their ability, it will improve them.
SM: And it's no surprise to see such spirit from a team like Afghanistan, a country like Afghanistan. That was not really a revelation. They came in, were short on ability and technique but played with their hearts and were just happy to be out there. They were not nervous or intimidated.
I think South Africa, as a team now, have to start looking at their performances. It is a team that plays well through the year, but when it comes to the world stage, when the spotlight is really on the team along with the others, they seem to disappoint. Is there something that South Africa need to do differently because this is just getting a bit too much? So many ICC events, threatening to win, threatening to get into the final round, but just not making it?
IC: Well, they got to have a look at Graeme Smith as a captain. He has been the captain for a long time now, and they seem, once again, to be a tense side in the competition. If the selectors think he is contributing to that tension, which you have to assume he is because he hasn't been able to change it for a long period of time. He has had plenty of time to change it. If that's the case then they have to start looking elsewhere. I think they also didn't get the top of the order right.
|The one big plus was Afghanistan. They showed tremendous spirit. In fact, they showed a thing or two to Bangladesh. I mean if Bangladesh could find that sort of spirit, with their ability, it will improve them|
They play a conservative brand of cricket. Now England have shown that you can change from being a conservative cricket nation to a very aggressive cricket nation. They did it well, and if South Africa want to look at an example of things that they've got to do, look for England in this tournament.
SM: Do you think a couple of individuals in the team can actually make the entire team look different? For example like Pietersen and Collingwood, the fighter that he is, and a couple of other South African-bred players coming in. Do you think that can happen with South Africa? If they have a change of leadership, do you think all these little uncertainties they have can be rectified when it really matters in a world tournament. Do you think a couple of individuals can actually do that?
IC: It's amazing how a young player comes in with a bit of talent and a bit of energy and revitalises a team. Particularly a team like South Africa, which has been very stable for a long time. Sometimes you need that boost, some of the senior players need a bit of shake-up. They need to think, "I need to start looking over my shoulder here". I think that's the sort of shake-up South African cricket needs. They have had the talent for a long time now. When they beat Australia in Australia in the Test series and went to No. 1, I thought they are going to take some stopping now. If anything, they have gone downhill since then. So it's not a talent thing. It's something wrong with the mix of the team and it's got to be revitalised and the best way to do that is a bit of youth and enthusiasm.
SM: I think every nation gets an opportunity with an ICC tournament to just show what they are made of. That's where I think South Africa have failed. They may have played really well when it comes to mainstream international cricket through the calendar year but when an ICC tournament comes in with the attention of the world on the team, they haven't delivered. So perhaps something for the South African cricket board to look at.
Moving away from cricket, it's another ICC event that has come to end. How do you think it is being looked at? Do you think it has generated the kind of interest that it should? And maybe also a comparison with the kind of hype or the atmosphere that you see during an IPL event - how do you compare that with an ICC event; not the cricket but just the atmosphere that the event creates: ICC vs the IPL?
IC: Well, I haven't actually been to an IPL match so it's hard to tell. But I think they [ICC] have got the balance right. Cricket has always got to be the priority. They have entertainment factor but it can't be the main thing. I went to see a gridiron [American football] exhibition match in Australia back in 2000. I went there mainly to have a look at the stadium - it was played at the Olympic stadium -and I wanted to have a look at that. I walked away from that game said to myself that any game where the women dancers are more important than the actual game that is being played has got a problem in my book. The cricket has to be good, has to be competitive and can't be overshadowed with the entertainment factor.
SM: This World Twenty20 would be remembered for England's triumph. Is this going to set-up things nicely for England? Do you see a complete change of approach and mindset of England cricketers from now on at other brands of the game as well, going forward? This was a great England team to watch and the result also came with it.
SM: I think it's also important for England, as a nation, to support anybody who is looking to take the attacking mode of cricket and trying to win that way. I think that needs a great support from the nation, the fans, and also its media. We have had a wonderful time here in West Indies during the ICC World Twenty20, where England won their first world title. Thanks for your views Ian. That's it from us on Cricinfo Talk.
Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar is a cricket commentator and presenter on TV. @sanjaymanjrekar
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