Australia today dethroned West Indies and emerged as the Champions by winning the Champions Trophy 2006. They beat the Windies comprehensively today in Mumbai in what turned out to be a one-sided contest.
All hopes of a thrilling contest were raised to the ground once Chris Gayle was scalped by Nathan Bracken. Till that time the West Indies run rate was around 10 runs per over. The bowlers were being carted all parts of the ground by Gayle and it seemed that it would be a run feast again like the West Indies – South Africa semi-final.
But that is when the true test of the Aussie character came to the fore. Without wilting under the pressure like the Proteas in the semi-finals, the bowlers kept pegging, Bracken in particular who claimed all the three top Windies wickets and more importantly the prize wicket of Gayle who had reduced McGrath and Brett Lee to ashes!
But with Gayle gone, the rest of the Windies batting followed suit, and the entire team was bundled out for 130, a cataclysmic end to a promising start.
The Australians then chased with relative ease and romped home as the winners.
In a way, the Champions Trophy, ’06, was a great leveler for it clearly brought out the best team to the fore and ensured that the most deserving team won the Championship. Also, it revealed to the viewers and fans around the world what goes into the making of Champions.
It is a team that wins ultimately and not a band of charismatic popular heroes and individuals that wins tournaments, the Indian team could take a leaf from the Aussie book!