Sunday, January 30, 2011

World Cup 2011 Predictions

With great excitement and expectations comes the 2011 Cricket World Cup. We can expect a tournament full of vigour and colour, the hosts have the resources and experience to make this a truly memorable event.

This world cup promises a lot for many reasons, particularly compared to past ones:
  • Australia are fallible.
  • So is everyone else.
  • With T20 cricket barking loudly and uncontrollably, this will to be a good advertisement for the *real* limited overs game.
  • We return to the quarter final format after three editions of the super sixes/eights nonsense.
But ultimately its about the teams and the players to perform. Let’s take a look how they stack up:

Sri Lanka
A strong team with the right balance of experience, class and craziness. Like 2007, should be a finalist, and with better luck with rain and match referees they could take it away.

India Home
The current hot shot line-up of Indian batsmen are bumblers overseas (India Away). However they suddenly transform into gladiators at home. That’s the biggest factor in this world cup. In conditions tailor made for IPL style batting, they will highly fancy themselves. Their biggest weakness is a lack of bowlers, and a lack of ability against real bowlers. Your other finalist, but god save us if they win (a fifty over IPL?).
I must admit he proved me wrong. © AFP 
Australia A
If somebody told me two years ago that Shane Watson is Australia’s best batsman, I would have laughed, into fits. Funny game. This lot pales in comparison to that unapologetically arrogant (but admittedly brilliant) team a few short years ago. Poor Ricky Ponting knows what it must have felt like to be Stephen Fleming, not so easy without infinite resources now is it? That said, their hard nosed mongrel attitude will push them to the semis.
Inheriting the Fleming Frown. © Getty Images
The Semi-Finalists
South Africa as always appear to be fit, nicely balanced and primed to take away the cup. And as always they will inexplicably collapse in a heap come semi-final time. It will be well publicised, it won’t be pretty.
Oh so familiar. © AFP 
The Silent Semi-Finalists
New Zealand are the definition of “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. Have the uncanny ability of sneaking into semi-finals unnoticed. And then receive a mauling and depart, equally unnoticed. Won’t get that far this time, but will make more noise than usual. Quarter Finals.

The Pretenders
Thanks to a newly formed backbone courtesy of South Africans and Andrew Flintoff, England have managed to forge together a decent, Ashes winning test team. They also won some hit and giggle tournament in 2010 (I won’t insult us by calling it a World Cup), and so expectations are suddenly very high. Wrongly. What they fail to realise is that they haven’t done squat in the fifty over format. Will exit without a fuss. Quarter finals.

Pakistan (Jekyll)
On paper, and as usual, as strong as any. They are quite capable of cleaning up every team and walking away champions. But if you look back, this applies to every World Cup. Heck it applies to every match they play in. Team Jekyll can make the semi’s.

Pakistan (Hyde)
And then you get the sorry bunch that make Ireland look like Australia, Siddle look like Dravid and Southee look like Steyn. Won’t even make the quarters.
Remember this? © AFP
Chris Gayle
He will rip apart a couple of teams, and push them to the quarters and possibly one beyond. Then the law of averages will kick in, and we’ll again wonder why the other ten even showed up. (Sorry Chanderpaul, make that nine).
Eleven versus one © Getty Images
We all used to laugh at them, ridicule them, and make them the subject of every “even X can beat us” joke. Those days are over, and this tournament will prove it. They’ll beat a good side, seriously scare another, and will fully deserve to be a quarter finalist. Special mention to Tamim Iqbal, raise some hell.

The Rest
Zimbabwe and Ireland both look pretty good and could really annoy one of the good teams. Won’t progress though. Holland have Ryan ten Doeschate and not much else, which is not enough for fifty overs. He’d walk into any major team, and it’s really good to see him representing Holland (Eoin Morgan, I'm looking at you). Canada and Kenya are fodder. 

That leaves us with a top four of India, Sri Lanka, Australia and South Africa. 
Lets hope this time we don't have a dud final three games.

1 comment:

  1. Too much faith in Chris Gayle = Dissapointment