Cricket matches, with the advent of Twenty20 has become more synonymous with fresh legs and agility of Young turks. But, the World Cup 2011 spread over one and half months proved again that experience and talent holds edge over young turks. Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene lead the fieling records for World Cup 2011.
Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene
Sri Lankans reached the final and lost it. But, at individual level they were unstoppable. While Bowling did not produce any heroes except Muralitharan, one of the oldest horses of the tournament, batting and fielding records were captured by the Lankan tigers. Dilshan remained the only batsman to have scored 500 runs in World Cup. To add to that Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene top the list of maximum dismissals and catches.
Sangakkara – The best Keeper
Sangakkara, the mercurial Sri Lankan captain, who has led Sri Lanka in many battles, to victory, proved his superiority behind the stumps over wicket keepers from other teams. Sanga finished with 14 dismissals in 8 matches (Against Australia they did not field). He has taken 10 catches and stumped four batsmen. To consider his time spent on field while batting also, the record becomes more special. The 3rd highest run-scorer (465 from 8 innings) was certainly way ahead of other keepers of the World.
Haddin with 13 dismissals and Kamran Akhmal with 12 dismissals came the closest to him. Bagai, the Canadian wicketkeeper/captain, took only 8 catches, but was considered the best wicketkeeper of the World Cup. His team could play only 6 matches.
Mahela – The Best Fielder
Mahela Jayawardene has been considered the tiger on prowl while fielding. His 8 catches in 8 matches is the highest in World Cup 2011 for any fielder. The fresh legs of Raina, Pollard, Dilshan (all three took 6 catches to finish second) and many others could not even reach closer to him. In addition, he also played two very good knocks besides some good cameos. With 2 centuries, one of them in the finals, he scored more than 300 runs in 8 innings.
Old Foxes are better Than Young Turks
Sangakkara and Mahela made a statement on behalf of the entire senior players to others that age has nothing to do on-field performance. It is all about talent and dedication. Hopefully, the age-judging Gurus of the World can stop discussing age now, and talk more about the game.