Saturday, February 26, 2011

World Cup 2011 - Week 2 Preview

In a week mostly containing matches with minnows facing the top nations, the cynics have come out right away, blasting the lack of competition and how boring this all is. What has happened to everyone's patience? The same thing happened in 1996 and nobody really cared too much, I rather enjoyed some of the lower nations trying to punch above their weight. This is almost the only chance to see some of these guys in action.

But I digress, lets have a look at what week 2 has in store:

The Form Book
India, South Africa and Sri Lanka look strong, no changes there. New Zealand and the West Indies had their flaws exposed, special mention to Darren Bravo however. Its almost blasphemous to suggest that there is another Lara, but just watch him bat and you too will get excited. Australia were contained by Zimbabwe, not a good sign for them. From the minnows, its obvious that the Netherlands and Zimbabwe are capable of causing trouble, my prediction of the England upset so nearly came true.

Did you say Lara? BLASPHEMY!  © 

Key Matches
Sri Lanka vs Pakistan
Potentially a real cracker. Two teams full of flair and loaded with big names looking to stamp their mark on this world cup. We have been waiting for a close match between two good sides, here's hoping this is the one. I pick Sri Lanka to come out on top in the end.

India vs England
Funny I should say this given that I don't think much of England. I expect India to get home with ease, but will England finally turn up to play? We know they can, and if they do they can be a challenge. Remember India's bowling is their weakness, so if England chases, who knows.

Potential Upsets

Bangladesh vs West Indies
We saw just how flaky the West Indies are against spin (6 of the top 7 against South Africa, with the other a run out), and with Bangladesh chock full of them in their home turf, this is a major advantage. Should be a close one.

You heard that right, South African spin. © AFP

England vs Ireland
England are stronger on paper compared to the old enemy, but again on the day you just never really know. This Irish outfit are surprisingly experienced at this level, and showed against New Zealand in the warm up match that they are not to be taken lightly by anyone.

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