Wednesday, April 28, 2010

ICC Twenty20 World Cup 2010 favorites

The prediction time is back again. Last time I predicted the winner correctly but had no good luck after that. This time however I am more conservative. Not following IPL means that I have a clean mind and would not be carried away by the performances in `tamasha' cricket. The warm ups have started and Indians with their infinite wisdom have decided not to play any warm up games. This will help. At least it will ensure that the expectations are not skyrocketed with a worthless win as it happened against Pakistan last time.

Most of the players are fatigued. More so Indians. But two teams stand out for me. Pakistan and Australia. Both are relatively fresh. Pakistan will sorely miss Umar Gul but the depth in their bowling attack will ensure it will be their most potent weapon. The batting relies heavily on Akmals. However watch out for Abdur Razzaq. He can be devastating in limited overs format. Afridi is the right person to captain the side given his current form. The batting looks thin but I believe that Misbah and Salman Butt would do much better this time. To me the Australians seem to be the next best team in the tournament. Their form in this format for last year or so has been fantastic. As I write the Aussies have surprisingly lost to Zimbabwe but I believe that is an aberration. A lot depends on how the pitch at Barbados plays. If it has some help for fast bowlers the Australians have the best of that lot. Otherwise they may struggle on slow wickets of the kind that were offered in recent West Indies - Zimbabwe series.

Other than these two every team looks at same level. But if I had to choose semifinal lineup I would go for Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka. If the pitches in second stage will assist slow bowling, India too could be in with a chance.