Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A build up to World T20 gala...

A week from now, the fourth edition of World T20 is all set to begin in Sri Lanka. It should be interesting 3 weeks for cricket lovers. If you already feel the euphoria, then you can consider the game has already begun.

Many countries were seriously involved in international T20 matches in the recent days only to show their intensity to win the Trophy. Unlike 50 Overs World Cup, where only few teams dominated, this format remains open for anybody to win. But that does not take away the fact there are still favorites.

I personally back one among Sri Lanka, India, South Africa or West Indies to go all the way.

For starters, let us review the group standings.
Group A: England, India and Afghanistan
Group B: Australia, West Indies and Ireland
Group C: Sri Lanka, South Africa and Zimbabwe
Group D: Pakistan, New Zealand and Bangladesh

Group C and Group D offer mouthwatering prospects. Though I bet Australia to qualify for Super 8’s alongside West Indies, Ireland is still a serious threat for them. Similarly, Group D appears pretty open. The advantage Pakistan and Bangladesh carry over New Zealand is that the event is played in subcontinent. However Pakistan and New Zealand remain favorites to qualify for the latter stages, but I won’t be surprised if Bangladesh upset one of them.

Considering this time of the year, rain is likely to interrupt/ruin some of the games; upsets are good prospects.

If Super 8 qualification were to reflect seeding, England, West Indies, Sri Lanka and New Zealand will fight for top two spots in Group 1. Similarly, India, Australia, South Africa and Pakistan will fight each other for top two spots in Group 2. Here again Group 2 is likely to provide more spectacular contests compared to Group 1. By all means, we are likely to witness an India – Pakistan match.

In all, West Indies, Sri Lanka, India and South Africa are my guesses to qualify for the Semi Finals. Again if there is one team that I would like to give outside chance to break into the top 4, it would be Pakistan!!!

Here is my personal review of each team.

Australia: They have young and inexperienced George Bailey as skipper. Though their batting could survive with the heroics of Warner, Watson and Michel Hussey, their bowling appears to be a huge void outside Brad Hogg.

England: With such an inexperienced line up for subcontinent conditions, they stand good chance only to finish bottom of Group 1 in Super 8s.

New Zealand: The Kiwis side may have beaten India in the recently played T20 match, but those are not realistic possibility in World T20. However they can fancy their chances over England when qualified for Super 8s.

Pakistan: They are top bowling side especially suited for subcontinent conditions. But it is their batting that is going to let them down in crucial juncture.

South Africa: Popularly tagged as chokers in International events. The Proteas can potentially avert this tag with Kirsten at the helm of affairs.

Sri Lanka: Being the host, they naturally carry huge advantage. It would be a big disappointment if they did not make it to the SF. 

West Indies: A perfect T20 side with Gayle storm likely to blow most of the bowling attack. It only remains to be seen if they have the will to go all the way.

India: I see no reason why India not winning this edition. But it is surely an acid test for Dhoni.

Cricket Lover

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