Saturday, March 5, 2011

World Cup 2011 - Week 3 Preview

What one week can do to a world cup! Suddenly the contest has opened up, out of the blue teams have put their hand up, and all certainties have gone out the window. Lets take a look at whats coming up:

Power Rankings
Throwing away the approach of describing form, this is a list of where the teams stand with respect to each other, league style.
  1. South Africa - Look the most consistent and well rounded, particularly after dismantling the West Indies.
  2. Australia - Efficient so far with no major cracks, however the real test will be the Sri Lanka game coming up.
  3. Pakistan - Very impressive against Sri Lanka and appear to be energetic and focused. How long will it continue though? Sloppy against Canada, and they have a certain K. Akmal around.
  4. Get used to this. © Getty Images
  5. India - Batting strongly, but can't defend and seem surprisingly aloof about that. Their one dimensional game has them at #4 on this list.
  6. Sri Lanka - A big blow to lose at home to Pakistan, but still a strong side on paper looking for redemption. 
  7. England - What to say about England? Appear to be both world beaters and toilet scrubbers in the same game. Badly need to sort out their bowling.
  8. Ireland - A massive performance from Kevin O'Brien, but was it a one off? Certainly the strongest of the of the associate nations.
  9. West Indies - Didn't really wake up until the Netherlands match. Will they kick into gear now?
  10. New Zealand - Woeful against Australia but had no issues with the minnows. 
  11. Zimbabwe - Look like they can be a very annoying side particularly with Ray Price and friends tying it up nicely. Batting is their weakness as we saw against NZ.
  12. Bangladesh - Unbelievably poor against the West Indies, in total disarray.
  13. Holland - Rely far too much on ten Doeschate. When he fails, they become fodder.
  14. Canada - Strong showing against Pakistan, but lack the firepower to win matches.
  15. Kenya - Really struggling at this level and its sad to see. Canada will be a big game.
Key Matches
Sri Lanka vs Australia
A crunch match with both teams looking to make waves in the world cup. Malinga's return is a huge boost, but I think the real contest will be between Australia's impressive pace battery and the Sri Lankan top order. Too close to call, but I'll back Australia to get home.

Stumps beware. © AFP

England vs South Africa
Funny side England, but if they get their bowling sorted, they can put up a fight. South Africa look well oiled but this should be more of a test for them.

Ireland vs West Indies
If Ireland are the real deal, this is their big chance, however the West Indies look like they also have their mojo back. I expect this to be a good tussle between two teams trying to prove themselves.

Potential Upsets
Ireland vs India
The Irish puffed their chests out and said "India you're next". Bold, but don't write them off completely, India have real issues defending a total and if Ireland can keep Sehwag and friends quiet....

No comments:

Post a Comment