Just like international cricket’s newest format, I too will attempt to keep my preview short and full of action.
The defending champs start out the second edition of the T20 World Cup as overwhelming favourites by a good distance. No total will be big enough for India’s star studded batting line up and this in turn is likely to put enormous amount of pressure on opposing teams to set huge scores against them which could lead to their own downfall.
If one were to be extremely critical I believe India’s weak link will be their bowling but their power packed batting line up should more than make up for any short comings in their bowling department.
I firmly believe that T20 is a batsman’s game and more importantly it is a format in which teams that have players who can clear the boundary on a regular basis will most likely be the team that will triumph at the end of the day. In this context, unlike any other team in the competition India have as many as seven batters in their line up who could clear the boundary with ease, consistently and that might be the difference between them and the rest of the teams in the competition.
It would be apt to call the South Africans the form side of the tournament given that they have been consistent and done very well in all formats of the game in the last 12 to 18 months.
However, their inability to win a major World tournament thus far is likely to continue to haunt them this time around as well.
With the retirement of Adam Gilchrist and Mathew Hayden the Australians are certainly not the side that they were back in 2007.
However, Australia being Australia one should never make the mistake of underestimating them.
Their chances in this tournament will depend greatly on the performance of their batters and if their batting clicks they have the bowling prowess to get them home.
They haven’t played too much international cricket of late but they still have the talent to challenge the very best one their day.
Shahid Afridi has had a miserable run with the bat for some time now and if could some how find some form there is no doubt that it will make Pakistan’s efforts of repeating their performance of the last T20 World Cup that much more easier and perhaps might even help them go a step further.
A decent side but certainly lacks penetration in the bowling department.
Skipper Daniel Vettori had an indifferent IPL second season and much will depend on him to shoulder the bowling responsibilities for the Kiwis.
Despite playing at home, I can’t see England going too far in the competition. They are a decent side but in my opinion lacks the ‘X’ factor to go the distance. They will no doubt miss the services of ace all rounder Andrew Flintoff.
Their progress in the tournament will depend a lot on which West Indian team turns up on the day.
They come into the T20 World Cup with a new players kit and a new skipper but at the same time with familiar problems that have plagued their performance in the shorter formats of the game for the past 24 months or so.
Despite having probably the most potent bowling attack of all teams in the competition it’s the Lankan batting that will be of major concern to them. Jayasuriya had a very ordinary IPL and as always Sri Lanka’s ability to post a decent score on the board will depend greatly on the veteran and if they do manage to post a decent score they have so many bowling match winners in their ranks that can get them with ease.
A very dangerous side particularly in this format of the game. However consistency has been their problem and while I wouldn’t be surprised if they spoil the party for a few top sides, I can’t see Bangladesh going too far in the tournament.
T20 cricket is almost impossible to predict. However, at least on paper I can’t see any team challenging India this time around as well.
Incredibleshoaib is editor of
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