Sunday, March 13, 2016

ICC WT20 2016 - A Short Tournament Preview

So the ICC WT20 is upon us!! The Group A & B Matches are almost over with Afghanistan having proceeded already from the former after winning all their matches comfortably and more importantly playing a brand of cricket which is refreshing to see.

Bangladesh and Oman will face off today at Dharamshala to decide which of them will earn the right to play against Australia, India, New Zealand and Pakistan. Bangladesh will fancy their chances as they have in red hot form after beating both Sri Lanka and Pakistan in the Asia Cup which concluded recently.

Second Round - Super 10

Group 1 - England, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Afghanistan
Group 2 - Australia, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, Bangladesh/ Oman

India will face New Zealand in the Super 10 opener against a strong Kiwi outfit at Nagpur, a pitch which has afforded lots of turn already in the qualifying matches.

I expect the World Cup to be a close affair with each team having something in their favour and going for them. Yes, India starts off as the overwhelming favourites after their recent pyrotechnics but a couple of bad days can throw you out of the competition.

The teams that I expect will give India a run for their money are New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. South Africa looks tremendously strong on paper and has it in them to go all the way. The Trans-Tasman neighbours also boast of strong unit’s but their ability to play spin is questionable and might prove a hindrance in their progress.

The West Indies team is filled with T20 cronies who ply their trade all across the globe in various T20 tournaments. Whether they can all gel together and provide an eye popping display remains to be seen.

The English team is all playing an attacking brand of cricket and they even possess a good spin attack this time around but the inability of their batsmen to face quality spin might just go against them.

Sri Lanka are a team that often goes under the radar when any multi-nation tournament starts but which comes together beautifully with each player suddenly finding form at the right time. They have had a wretched run recently but have the ammunition to turn things around quickly.

Pakistan, after all the turmoil and indecision regarding their participation in the ICC WT20 have finally arrived in India. They are a dangerous unit and are at their best when chaos and confusion reigns supreme all around them. Beware of them, is all I would say to all other teams facing the Men in Green!

Afghanistan are the story of this tournament thus far, they have won hearts and captured the attention of fans all around. They certainly have the players who can give a tough fight to any top nation and with their array of spin bowlers they can prove to be a big headache for some of the teams.

I can’t wait for the first ball to be bowled on the 15th of March and I know neither can you!! Which team are you supporting? Which 4 team’s do you think will progress to the Semi-Finals?

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