The 44 day and 49 matches long World Cup 2015 played in Australian-New Zealand finally came to an end. Australia deservingly made a collage of trophies with all of them won on different continents, as the World Cup saw its own share of drama and entertainment. However the quadrennial event also had its share of shocks since the start of the inaugural match to mega finale. Here’s list of five most unexpected events of the World Cup.
#1 Brendon McCullums daredevilry
While “Slogga’s” attitude, aggression and dynamism during the event certainly helped the Kiwis romp to the finals, there was a shock element as to why McCullum was getting too aggressive too soon. It was fine till the group stages - entertaining and convincing – but it was expected that McCullum will let some of his “jump out of the crease” be reined in during the big games.
He scored a total of 328 runs at strike rate of 188 and those stats match very close to Glenn Maxwell’s – 324 runs at 182 strike rate. But here’s the difference. Brendon was opening the innings and lead of the team and average of 36 was not at par with his team requirements from him. Maxwell came lower in order and still averaged 64.
Brendon’s bravery resembled Sanath Jayasuriya of 96 or Mark Greatbatch of 92, but while the latter mentioned batsmen had the likes of Aravinda De Silva and Martin Crowe (respectively) to come in, New Zealand of 2015 needed more from McCullum. His semi-final onslaught (59 off 26 balls) was a big factor for that win, but him lasting just eight balls in the Quarters (vs Windies) and just three Starc deliveries in the final, wasn’t worth the risk.
Despite winning an important toss and batting first, McCullum’s early departure at MCG gave the hosts the first foot inside the door. Close to a billion fans worldwide backing the underdog and waiting to see a new champion were dumbfounded. It was common sense that Kiwi openers stay steady and negotiate the early Starc overs, but alas! There are limitations to positivity and the Kiwi skipper should have known that.