‘Indeed a game of thrills and spills…’

06 Mar 2010 by Mahendra Prasad in T20 World Cup

The T20 world cup is the next big international tournament. The world cup follows the domestic Indian premier league which will have players from most part of the world cup. Just like the 2009 T20 World cup the IPL will provide a perfect foil for players playing in the T20 World cup. Players would get perfect match practice and would be in the right frame of mind before they head to the Caribbean to take on one another. Although T20 goes against prediction and the line of reputation we’ll have a look at the main contenders…

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David WarnerAustralia— The aussies are looking absolute giants in this form of the game. In face the aussies are currently looking giants in all forms be it Test, ODI or T20 cricket. This is largely due to the fact that they have specialized squads for the different forms of the game. Talking about the T20 format the re-emergence of perhaps the fastest bowler in the world currently, Shaun Tait is a huge bonus for the aussies as he comes with not just raw pace but off late; he seems to be finding the right spots as well. He will come in very handy and has been in tremendous form ever since his return to the Australian national side.

Another of their T20 expertise is the small and compact power house, David Warner—the man has the second fastest fifty in T20 history and is capable of blowing away any bowling attack in the world. He has done so in the past and as far as the aussies are concerned they will be hoping he continues to do it for them. There is no better player who can build an innings in T20 cricket better than David Hussey.

Second only to Victorian team mate Brad hodge in terms of runs he at number 4 will be vital if Australia have to reach the knockout stages of the tournament. Australia have a perfect number 5 in Cameron white, his explosive batting with an uncomplicated technique is of great bonus and is one of their more experienced players at this form of the game. In Watson, Australia have the perfect all rounder they could ask for who could provide them with an explosive start. Along with them the aussies have Mitchell Johnson, their skipper- Michael Clarke, Hauritz and wicket-keeper Brad Haddin.

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Australia also have the pacey left arm seamer dirk nannes who is one of the skiddiest customers the game has ever seen. And IF, only IF, ace pace man Brett Lee is fit and raring to go—the aussies will have absolutely nothing to worry about as his experience and his class will be a big boost under a big stage like the world twenty 20. Australia have a very well knit unit under a new captain. They will be pressing hard to get their hands on the title they never have.

AB de VilliersSouth Africa— The South African’s rest assured will play very good cricket and are probable to do well and reach the knock out stage. But, the problem with South Africa is and has always been once they get to that stage, they choke. They will be itching to prove all of that wrong and change how they are looked at in the cricketing world. They have a very good combination of both talent and experience.

In Graeme smith they have a crafty batsman who could pull out the long handle if need be. They have the young and electric bosman right at the top who could help the south Africans to a flyer. They have the ever dependable Kallis if they choose to pick him. The mercurial gibbs who due to his unpredictability could prove to be exactly what the Africans need on a big match stage. They have the best ODI bowler in the world in Steyn. But for me if South Africa have to get far into the tournament and far enough to win the tournament they need a particular man to shine and that man is ‘Abraham De Villiers’.

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De Villiers has been in tremendous form over the last couple of years and he is now in the phase of entering the peak of his life as far as his batting is concerned. South Africa really need him to be firing on all cylinders if they have to stand any chance of putting up an impressive performance at this year’s World T20. South Africa seem to have a good combination but it’s important that they keep their past behind them and hope that De Villiers plays at his best.

Yuvraj Singh India— India have a very good side and with Virender Sehwag in great nick at the top; they seem unstoppable. They also have the T20 man Yuvraj Singh who is as dangerous as T20 is to test cricket. The Indian team have one of the best batting line ups in the competition with Sehwag, Gambhir, Yuvraj, Dhoni, Raina and pathan forming their top 6. However, it is their bowling that is a cause of worry. Presumably it would be Zaheer khan, Ishant Sharma, harbhajan singh and perhaps Nehra.

The Indians have a very unsettled bowling line up with Zaheer being the only formidable option after having good success over the past couple of seasons. India have bowling and fielding concerns. However, they are still in good stead mainly due to their batting. If India needs to make it to the final four they will have to dig deep and do something about their lack luster bowling and fielding as the latter is what primarily matters in a T20 game.

Tilakaratne DilshanSri Lanka— They made the finals last time round but were beaten by a very determined Pakistan team. They have a very good side with a devastating opening combination capable of tearing any bowling attack. Dilshan and jayasuriya on their day could win Lanka the match single handedly; if either one of them have a good tournament, it can be said that Sri lanka would make the final cut. They have two of the most elegant players in the modern era to follow in skipper Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene.

Angelo Mathews a very promising all rounder and a future prospect for sure to look forward to. Their bowling is a good one too as they have the best spinners in the tournament—Muttiah Muralidaran and Mendis. Malinga, the slinger is capable of bowling 6 consecutive Yorkers and the opposition should be vary of that. Sri Lanka seem strong on the fielding department as well with Mathews and Dilshan right up front.

The others New Zealand, Pakistan (Although champions), West Indies and England do not seem to have the fire power and the lack of “consistent” game breakers seems to be their undoing. The above favourites are favourites only on paper and nothing can be portended as T20 is indeed a game of thrills and spills.

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