Friday, April 30, 2010

T20 World Cup - Preview

The hyped up dust from the IPL has not settled yet. And we have another T20 tournament on our hands. The 3rd T20 World Cup in a span of less than 3 years is here. This time it is being held in the faroff West Indies. Hopefully the tournament would be much better than the ODI World Cup of 2007.
The T20 format is highly unpredictable, and this is especially true in the international context. T20 internationals are not a regular feature. So form etc are difficult to predict and the shorter the format, it becomes a more level playing field. The last two editions threw up quite a few surprises. Bangladesh (2007) & Ireland (2009) qualifying for the Super 8s; Zimbabwe beating Australia (2007); Netherlands beating England (2009); Australia getting knocked out in the first round (2009). Hopefully we'll get to see a few surprises. After all everyone loves an underdog (unless the underdog is beating up India).
Tournament Favourites
In my opinion, NONE. T20 is too unpredictable to even hazard a guess at this stage.
Teams to Watch
Afghanistan - They are living a fairytale. Their story goes beyond cricket. They are playing in the T20 World Cup despite having Affiliate status only. And they are probably every neutral fan's favorite team. India open the campaign against them (a real banana-skin encounter).
Zimbabwe - Not much should be read in the results of the warm-up games. But Zimbabwe have beaten Australia & Pakistan in the last few days. They also won a T20 against West Indies rcently. So the team should be high on confidence. Elton Chigumbura is the player to watch out.
India's Chances
Hopefully should clear group stage. And the result will be known pretty early. They take on Afghanistan on Saturday & South Africa on Sunday. Ideally should win both. After that it becomes more and more unpredictable.
There wont be many big scores. And pitches will be slow. Spinnersto dominate proceedings. Shouldnt expect too many big sixes.
Things to look Forward to
Hopefully the commentary would be saner after the madness called the IPL. No DLF Maximums, Karbonn Kamaal Catches, Cit Moments of Success or the MRF Blimp. Would be nice if the focus stays on the cricketing action.
Now back to cricket filled evenings.

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