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T20 World Cup Preview – Part 2

June 5, 2009

Part 2 of the preview focuses on the squads and their ‘Outside Edge’ chances in the tournament. Each assessment scores each team on the three fundamental aspects of the game and also the ‘luck of the draw’ in how easy/difficult is their path to the semi-finals.

Batting – How many batsmen that can launch blitzkriegs? How many that can anchor innings?

Bowling – Does the attack have a mix of wicket-taking bowlers and variety to slow things down when under attack?

Fielding – Catching and ground-fielding

‘Luck of the Draw’ – Ease of making it through the group and super-eight stages given the opposition (e.g. India has a clear path to the Super-Eights while Sri Lanka faces Australia and West Indies)Scoring

 

 

Squad Reviews

West Indies

Chris Gayle has a point or two to prove, following his late arrival for the England test series and his comments about test cricket and its usefulness. His challenge however, will be to lead a motivated bunch on the field who might be forgiven for thinking that it was a case of “every man for himself”. Ironically, the idea of inducing some interest from the IPL franchises might be the precursor to some great individual performances. The chances that they will get it together to win more than the odd game seem slim though.west indies

  

 

Pakistan

What used to be the most unpredictable side in world cricket has declined into a mediocre side that loses more than it wins. Add to that the complete lack of international cricket over several months and the Pakistan team would have to pull off several upsets to win this time. That said, they have options in batting and bowling and a relatively smooth route to the Super-Eights.pakistan

 

 

Sri Lanka

Though Jayasurya seems to be more miss than hit going by his IPL form, Sangakarra, Jayawardene and Dilshan have honed their batting for the T20 version almost to perfection. Aside from a concern about a lack of depth in their bowling after Malinga and Muralitharan, Sri Lanka have to contend with being in the ‘group of death’ with Australia and West Indies.sri lanka

 

 

South Africa

After over a decade of being the most talented team to never have won anything of note, they’ve finally made progress by beating Australia most comprehensively. Notwithstanding that they promptly handed back the advantage by losing at home, the South Africans will expect themselves to do well here and go all the way.south africa

 

 

India

Unlike in 2007, when the Indian squad benefited from playing an untried combination that didn’t carry the weight of expectation, this time they bear the brunt of being defending champions. However, since almost every batsman in the squad has tasted success in the IPL, they will not be overly reliant on their openers. The bowling, while looking competent, might be exposed once the opposition gets off to a flyer due to sameness to the seam bowling department and the lack of many spin options. A reluctance to replace Harbhajan Singh with the more attacking spin option might cost India in the super eights.

india

 

  

 

New Zealand

Just like Australia but in contrast, it is rare for New Zealand to be considered serious contenders for any major tournament. They then proceed to make many a team look ordinary with their tidy bowling and superlative fielding. While the lack of strike bowlers and experience will hamper them, expect them to be exploit any poor performances by Pakistan or Sri Lanka in the Super Eights.new zealand

 

 

England

Try as you might, it’s hard to take England seriously in any limited overs tournament. In most test series too actually. But with Collingwood as captain, home conditions and a complete lack of expectations, I reckon England will make it to the semi-finals at the cost a couple of fancied teams. KP’s tendency to want to remind everyone just when he’s liable to be forgotten mean that they might win a game or two just off his bat.england

 

 

Australia

It is rare for them to not be classified as the one of the top two favourites for any tournament of note. And while there is no reason to discount them even this time, the skipper and most of the senior members of the squad might be thinking ahead to the Ashes due to begin in little over a month. They have some exciting emerging players who will want to make a few statements, and they have Andrew Symonds. However, they will have to beat almost every other contender to get past the Super-Eights.australia

 

 

 

Bangladesh/ Ireland/ Scotland/ Netherlands

While its slightly unfair to group Bangladesh here, their relative inexperience in this format coupled with their slow progress over the years warrants it. While I’m hampered by a lack of the slightest clue about the abilities of Ireland and Scotland, the one player who deserves a mention is Dirk Nannes, who, its fair to assume, will be playing both of Netherland’s games, and having the Pakistanis and the English hopping about.question mark

 

 

Who do you think will win this?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Asha permalink
    June 5, 2009 4:51 pm

    India will just about make it after giving the Indian television audience (and other interested parties) a few breathless moments – a few chills before the final, sponsor-friendly, endorsement-gasmic thrill. Almost as if it was scripted *wink wink*.

    • June 5, 2009 7:23 pm

      asha…its almost as if you can predict the future 🙂 and i’m not gonna argue with that prediction…atleast till the finals

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