Thursday, June 11, 2009

T20 World Cup..... Yeh Cup wapas aayega????

T20 World Cup is in full swing in England & the Super Eight stage is ready. These elite eight teams are now placed in two groups of four each, where they play against each other. The top two teams from these groups would play in the knckout stages of semis.

Group E : India, England, West Indies & South Africa.

Group F : Pakistan, Ireland, Sri Lanka & New Zealand.

The biggest casualty thus far has been the mighty Aussies. Under Ponting, this team had looked good to at least reach the last eight, but in the group of death along with Windies & the Lankans, the Aussies wilted under pressure & had to bow out so early in the tournament losing bothe their matches. The team, which has looked so good in the one dayers & test matches till now, were a pale shadow in this format of the game. The introduction of the latest talent David Warner & Shane Watson did not make any significant difference & the yellow green brigade have been dumped. Bangladesh has been the other surprise losers to Ireland. The team, has lots of talented players, but they all seem to be in a hurry to score. Hopefully they come back strong next time.

The team which looks very good & balanced at this stage is the South Africans. This team seem to have extreme depth in their batting. Smith, Kallis, Gibbs, Merwe, AB, Duminy, Boucher, Morkel, Botha, Parnell & is just unending. Any three click & they can rattle up a commanding total. The bowling is well balanced with loads of allrounders. This team is looking really good & should make it to the semis at least. If they can hold their nerves & shed the chokers tag......the Proteas can well be the smiling team at Lord's on 21st June. For Greame Smith, it would be a dream come true finally.

New Zealand is another team, which is quietly confident. They may not have any major stars in their ranks, but have a lot of good useful performers. As a team they are clicking well. McCullum, Taylor, Guptill, Oram, Styris, Vettori, all have it in them to bundle out any team. Excellent fielding & restrictive bowling make them a vert strong contender. A berth in the semis looks assured for them as of today.

Sri Lankans, is also another team which is peaking steadily. a team which starts with maverick Jayasuriya at the top along with Dilshan is always a threat to any opposition. This follows the likes of Sangakarra & Jayawardane, Silva & Mubarek. Bowling is in the hands of wily Murali, mysterious Mendis & slinging Malinga, which can tame any opposition. But the team seems to be too top heavy in batting & if the top order crashes, it would be interesting to see how this team fares. However, they look good to reach semis at least, after which its a knockout stage.

The West Indies have been flattering to decieve over the last few years. On their day, they will murder the best of the teams, as they did with Aussies earlier in the tournament. When Gayle fires, any total would be reachable & then they have Bravo, Pollard, Marshall, Simmons, who are adept in this version of the game. Its however a surprise that Dwayne Smith has been left, even after a brilliant performance in the just concluded IPL. The bowling is just ok with Edwards, Taylor, Benn & Bravo. I will be happily surprised, if they make it to the last four.

Pakistan, England, Ireland have not done enough till now to evoke confidence in their fans. the barmy army English team & the mercurial Pakistan look quite rusty at this stage. The big players have not fired as yet & most of the players have been scratchy in their performances. we just hope that they touch form & produce good cricket for the tournament. However, I dont see anyone of them making the last four grade.

Men in Blue, India looks impressive & clinical. Under Dhoni, this team has been going from strength to strength over the last two years. Despite losing Sehwag to injury, the team looks exceptionally gifted in batting. Rohit Sharma has slipped into the vacant opening slot superbly & along with Gambhir gives a rollicking start to the innings. With Raina, Dhoni, Yuvi, Pathan brothers & Bhajji to follow the batting looks majestic & awesome. Bowling is again extremely solid with Zaheer, Ishant, Bhajji & Ojha. We still have RP & Pravin Kumar waiting in the wings. The team looks fit & hungry for success. The only hitch could be excessive cricket that the team has been playing over the last few months. Fatigue can easily set in & cause the damage. I believe, this team can lose only of they do harakiri.....& hopefully under Dhoni, that would not happen. He & coach Kirsten bring in a calming effect on the team which is so very important. The recent fracas between Dhoni & the media has been unnecessary & could've been avoided. Like all fans, I would love to see Dhoni bringing back the Cup & we sing to the advt..."Yeh Cup kahin nahin jayega"..............

From today starts the Super Eight clashes, which promises entertaining cricket for the next 11 days. Am sure all cricket lovers across India do not mind the late night viewing over the idiot box. Though Aamir Khan has a point & option, with his advt for Tata Sky jinga lala, where you can watch the recorded match next day, but I dont think it can be a substitute to live coverage......sorry Aamir....I would rather keep awake, while you go to sleep....I prefer to soak the excitement live.