T20 World Cup – Many Teams Favorites
With the T20 World cup just around the corner, the hype is starting to build up and that is something we do not come across often. Usually people are excited way before the World cup is suppose to start but this time, entering into September, many people I talked to were oblivious of the fact that a cricket world cup was to be played this year. Now with Facebook, popularizing at such a massive scale, I think the word is quite widespread and we are all set with a competitive showdown beginning with a crunch game between the arch-rivals, Pakistan and India. Although a warm-up match, 1.2 billion people were expected to watch it as this might be the first warm up match ever to be telecast live on television or the lone one in the recent times.
Anyhow moving on to the actual event, Pakistan looks to have a formidable team re-inforced by the addition of Imran Nazir and Abdur Razzaq and looking down the history, much will be expected of them in the shorter version of the game. With Nasir and Akmal showing a sign of good form along with Umar Gul’s and Saeed Ajmal’s bowling strength, this team poses a terrific chance to become the first team to win the trophy twice.
However, this could be one of the most open-ended cups since it began with strong T20 sides from each country. New Zealand have improved in recent times as shown by their recent victory against India whereas Bangladesh are capable of causing an upset which means Pakistan will have to be on their toes from the very start of the tournament as they cannot afford to any losses in this tournament from the word go.
Taking a quick glance at other teams, we see Sri Lanka have the home advantage and are playing some exciting new talent which include the likes of Perera and Munaweera to go with their existing experienced players. A threatening side with a good balance, they are amongst the top contenders for this cup.
India have one of the strongest batting line up this year but their weakness remains in the bowling department which relies heavily on part timers. With Virat Kohli’s amazing run, he should be someone that all sides should be wary of!
Australia remains a side of unpredictability but during this transition phase, they do have some talented youngsters coming up. Maxwell, Starc and Bailey are some of the new faces that might make a huge name in this shorter format of cricket.
South Africa have always been chokers, be it any format of the game. However, with the recent landmark of achieving number one position in all formats, the tide might just have already turned for them. A memorable year Hashim Amla has had, could he finish it off by taking South Africa to their first ever world cup? An exemplary batting technique, exquisite placement and sweet timing are the trademark of his innings and he might give the start that the Proteas always looked for.
In the absence of KP, England looks a much weaker side with little consistency in their batting department; however they always can produce an upset or provide a sound batting display that could change the course of the game as Butler showed by smashing 32 runs off one over just this week. Not the hot favourites but they would have had a much better chance of defending the title if KP was in the team.
The surprise deal this year could come from the Caribbean as they have compiled a tailor-made T20 team with the likes of Gayle, Bravo, Samuels, Pollard, Sammy, Russell and Narine. Slow bowlers and big sloggers that might just be what this format requires. Watch out for this team, they are highly likely to create some drama.
New Zealand shows promise but rely heavily on McCullum and Taylor to provide them with a big score. Not a winning combination this year by the Kiwis but you can’t write them off that easily, they might have a surprise or two up their sleeve.
The associate teams show huge promise with the likes of O Brien brothers, Hamid Hassan and M. Nabi and they would not cave in easily to any top eight team. So this is going to be an interesting tournament, I hope the rain stays away and gives us something to cheer about. Wishing Pakistan all the best for this year’s cup!
P.S. Please join the ESPN CRICINFO fantasy league and make your own worldcup t20 team. It is free of course and a gift for cricket lovers. If you do make a team, add yourself to my team please. Pin code# 3202.