Saturday, March 12, 2011

World Cup 2011 - Week 4 Preview

An even more bizarre week of cricket, now its impossible to predict anything. I'm not sure thats a good thing, I like to see a clear front runner that other teams aspire towards. Right now every team seems to be climbing over each other, scrambling for the prize, but nobody looks like getting there. It will be a photo finish.

Who wants it?

Power Rankings
  1. India - For all their shortcomings and slackness, they have been getting the results. Given the lack of a clear front runner, they take the top spot for now, but I am waiting for the axe to fall.
  2. Australia - We all missed out on what would have been a defining match against Sri Lanka. Too bad.
  3. Sri Lanka - Looked good when dismantling Zimbabwe, but again Australia would have told much more.
  4. South Africa - Came crashing off their perch after a super solid opening couple of weeks. The famous choke came earlier than usual though, a sign that they will get it right later? 
  5. England - They have shown the stomach for a fight, but cannot keep only playing half the game. Poor loss to the Bangladeshi's. 
  6. Pakistan - Delivered a rubbish performance to prove once again that there are no certainties with this team. Throw all logic out the window, you can't predict a thing with these guys.
  7. West Indies - Were unconvincing but got home against the Irish, forming a good winning streak.
  8. New Zealand - Well now where did that come from? Exploded into life in dramatic fashion and now there is another kid in the block. If they lose Vettori now though, that would be absolutely tragic.
  9. Ireland - Again were impressive, but need to start converting these strong efforts into actual wins.
  10. Bangladesh - Stormed back into life with an important victory over England. Pool A is very interesting all of a sudden.
  11. Holland - Showed spirit against India, and I would really like to see the Dutch get more opportunities against the bigger nations.
  12. Zimbabwe - The Australia performance early on is looking more like a flash in the pan, with no shows against Sri Lanka or New Zealand.
  13. Canada - They're not a bad lot when they play collectively, and showed they belong in this cup, to some extent.
  14. Kenya - The less said the better.
Key Matches
India vs South Africa
India's first truly big challenge. South Africa have the bowling resources to challenge India, and thats where the real battle will take place. This will be a charged up contest with both teams looking to top the table.

New Zealand vs Sri Lanka
The Blacks Caps volcano exploded into life, with Ross Taylor the catalyst. If they get on top of Sri Lanka they could (amazingly) finish top of the table. Sri Lanka are not Pakistan though, and the New Zealanders will not get K.Akmal gifts this time.

Potential Upsets
Pakistan vs Zimbabwe
I would never have said this a week ago, but given that Pakistan Hyde has reared its ugly head to accompany Pakistan Jekyll, you can expect anything. Even Canada gave them a good scare keeping them to 184, but lacked the batting to get them home. Zimbabwe is stronger in all departments. 

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