Twenty20 World Cup Preview

Twenty20 Cricket World Cup – A preview of the second ICC World Twenty20 commencing on June the fifth.

Change is the only constant in life. How true it is! Barely a decade old, the shortest form of cricket has become the craze all over the world, cricketing as well as non-cricketing. Some things never change, and we’re back to square one. World cricket has returned to its home, and in traditional conditions. What better country than England, and what better time than June to hold this tournament?

Beginning this Friday is the second ICC World T-20, a tournament that has generated much hype, behind the IPL. Of the twelve teams that contest for glory, six teams are favourites, two others are close behind, and the rest may spring surprises. Australia, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, India and England all are capable of beating any team on their day. West Indies, with their Test-cricket-hating-T20-loving captain and New Zealand are dangerous on their day. Bangladesh and the rest are also not to be taken lightly. So, let’s get into the thick of things.

Group A: India, Bangladesh, Ireland
Group B: Pakistan, England, Netherlands
Group C: Australia, Sri Lanka, West Indies
Group D: New Zealand, South Africa, Scotland

Of the top six, Australia, South Africa and Pakistan loom large on my radar, largely due to their pace bowlers. Let’s take a look at the test playing nations, and my rating for each, on a scale of 0 to 1.

1. Australia:

Batting: They have some destructive players in Symonds, Watson(if fit), Brad Haddin and David Hussey. Skip Punter and Pup Clarke are no pushovers either, so their batting is fairly strong. Rating:0.75

Bowling: Arguably among the top two pace attacks in this tournament. Mitch Johnson, Nathan Bracken and Brett Lee can demolish any batting order, and they’ve got good support from ‘Roy’ Symonds and David Hussey to slow down the pace. They lack in the spin department, and that may be a factor for their lower rating. As I write this, I see Mitch bowling Bangladesh’s Siddique with a 91 mile scorcher. Rating: 0.72

Fielding: This is a very important aspect in the shortest form rather than any other, so we take this into account. The Aussies are among the best fielding teams at the moment, but what needs some looking in is the not so electric fielding in recent times. But Roy has returned, so he’d be prowling the whole inner ring on one side if necessary. Rating: 0.70

Watch out for: Andrew Symonds.

Overall rating: 0.72

2. Bangladesh:
Batting: Their batting has been very brittle of late, with Ashraful running out of form today big bash match toss prediction. Some of the younger players like Tamim Iqbal and Naeem Islam. They’re feeling the pangs of the ICL exodus, but watch out for Shakib Al Hasan and Mithun Ali, a young dasher whose role model is Adam Gilchrist. Rating:0.55

Bowling: This is the Bangladeshi’s Achilles Heel, with the ICL greatly eroding the bowling attack. Mashrafe Mortaza, Shahadat Hossain and Syed Rasel form their fast bowling attack with Shakib Al Hasan taking care of the spin department. Rating: 0.50