2013 review: Edging England in Edgbaston

India defeated England by five runs in Edgbaston in June 2013 to claim its second ICC Champions Trophy (having shared the title with Sri Lanka in 2002) and assert its status as the world’s best ODI side. The win helped Dhoni complete his collection of ICC silverware as captain, after having won the 2007 WT20 and the 2011 World Cup.

Virat Kohli does a Chris Gayle type of celebration dance after India had won the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy.   -  Getty Images

It seemed a little unfair, even M. S. Dhoni agreed, that the final of a premier one-day tournament had to be reduced to a 20-over shootout, but his side was not complaining. India defeated England by five runs at Edgbaston in June 2013 to claim its second ICC Champions Trophy (having shared the title with Sri Lanka in 2002) and assert its status as the world’s best ODI side. The win helped Dhoni complete his collection of ICC silverware as captain, after having won the 2007 WT20 and the 2011 World Cup. The final was a stop-start affair, thanks to persistent rain, and at one stage it seemed a match would be impossible. India managed only 129 after a late assault from Ravindra Jadeja. 

At the interval, Dhoni told his players their score was not all that bad. “Before going in, I said, ‘Let’s first of all get rid of the feeling that it’s a 50-over game. It’s a 20-over game, and we have seen in IPL and in T20 formats, 130 runs can be a difficult target to achieve,’” he revealed later. “I said, ‘God is not coming to save us. If you want to win this trophy, we’ll have to fight it out. We are the number-one ranked ODI side, so let’s make sure that they have to fight for these 130 runs.’”

Early wickets had reduced England to 46 for four before Eoin Morgan and Ravi Bopara joined hands. The pair added 64 runs for the fifth wicket and the title seemed England’s with 20 needed off the last 16.

But Ishant Sharma dismissed both batsmen in two balls and the home side failed to cross the line.

What was impressive about the win was that this was a young Indian side, with only three players remaining from the XI that had played the World Cup final two years earlier. “I feel there is a bit of similarity between the World T20 in 2007 that we won and this tournament,” Dhoni noted. “Back there too there were quite a number of players who were making their comebacks into the team, so they wanted to do well desperately. That is the case in this team also.”

The 2011 World Cup was different, he said. “We had very experienced players and some of them felt it could be their last World Cup because of age and everything. There was also the fact that it was happening in India; we all wanted to do well because the expectation was too much. I think the similarities are between the 2007 and this team.” 

Shikhar Dhawan was undeniably India’s hero of the tournament. He was the competition's top-scorer with 363 runs at an average 90.75. He notched up two hundreds, one fifty, a 48 and a 24-ball-31 in the shortened final to claim the Golden Bat. His aggression at the top of the order meant India did not miss Virender Sehwag. 

Bhuvneshwar Kumar was good with the new ball while Ravindra Jadeja emerged the tournament’s leading wicket-taker with 12 scalps. 

Despite the dramatic stumble in the final, England did better than many had expected, hammering South Africa in the semifinal. The host nation’s focus was primarily on the Ashes the following month, a series it would go on to win. 

For South Africa, it was yet another disappointment and Gary Kirsten was blunt in his assessment afterwards. The team had sunk to 80 for eight batting first, and despite making 175 was comfortably beaten. “I think we did choke in the game,” Kirsten said later. “It’s an uncomfortable word but you’ve got to make yourself comfortable with it. It’s a horrible word, it does get used, we’ve spoken about it, we are open about it.”

Sri Lanka was blown away by India in the other semifinal, in what was the island nation’s sixth appearance in the knockouts in eight global tournaments. The captain, Angelo Mathews, had spoken of forgetting the 2011 World Cup final and the 2012 World T20 final and at last ending a run without a major trophy going back to 2002. But it wasn’t to be.

“We’re definitely disappointed,” he said. “The entire nation is also disappointed but at the same time it shows we are doing well. We can’t be happy (merely reaching the semifinals). Our objective was to enter the final.”

For Australia, the 2013 Champions Trophy was a disappointment, the side failing to make the last four after losses to England and Sri Lanka and a rained-off game against New Zealand. 

The 2013 edition was supposed to signal the end of the Champions Trophy as a tournament but the decision was reversed in 2014, with the ICC announcing another edition in 2017.

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