India’s victory notwithstanding, M.S. Dhoni acknowledged that it felt “unfair” for the final of the Champions Trophy to be downsized to a 20-over contest.
“It's a bit unfair that in the ICC Champions Trophy, a 50-over format, we had to play a 20-over game to find a winner,” he said on Sunday. “But still, I think they needed the result.”
The persistent rain that resulted in the reduction of overs extended into the Indian innings as well, interrupting it twice. This made batting difficult, Dhoni felt. “There was a lot of problem with those breaks. It really never allowed us to gain any kind of momentum or build the kind of partnership that was needed. It reflected later on in the innings when the middle-order went into bat. They played a few big shots, and it went straight to the fielders. I think it was the reason why we ended up scoring less than we should have scored.”
Dhoni explained the decision to hold R. Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja back for the last two overs. “The plan was to keep the spinners for the two overs of Powerplay. The English are used to playing the fast bowlers with key fielders outside; so our bowlers would have found it quite difficult to contain the batsmen. So I thought with a bit of turn. it would be good to keep the spinners for the last two or three overs at least.”
The England captain Alastair Cook, meanwhile, was disappointed at his side’s failure to finish the job. “Clearly from there, you back yourself to win more times than you do to lose. But it shows you how quickly games can change in Twenty20 when you lose a couple of wickets. It’s a tough pill to swallow,” he said.
Cook was not pleased that the third umpire Bruce Oxenford had ruled Ian Bell out stumped. “I thought it was a poor decision,” he said. “I only saw the replay a couple of times. Maybe he saw a different angle than we saw. It looked pretty clear that it was in, but he's paid to make the decisions.”