Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Picking 4 Aces out of the World Cup T20 Super 8's

There was a sense of inevitability in the Qualifying stages of this T20 World Cup with few if any upsets and the excitement and highlights that accompany them. Looking forward to the Super 8's, virtually the coin should flip on proceedings with any of the Teams having a claim for one of the four places in the Semis

The Tournament will now split into two groups in a round robin format of matches to decide who goes through. 

Super Eights

Group 1
Group 2
West IndiesAustralia  
Sri LankaSouth Africa  
New ZealandPakistan

As you can see, both groups have a real appeal about them. In particular the 2nd grouping aptly referred to as 'The Group of Death' with it containing four Teams that have all held the mantle as a favourite for the Tournament at certain stages in the lead up. As you can see in the following fixtures some of the games will be absolute humdingers

Thu Sep 27

15:30 IST Sri Lanka v New Zealand at Pallekele, ICC World Twenty20 

19:30 IST England v West Indies at Pallekele, ICC World Twenty20 

Fri Sep 28

15:30 IST Pakistan v South Africa at Colombo (RPS), ICC World Twenty20

19:30 IST Australia v India at Colombo (RPS), ICC World Twenty20

Sat Sep 29

15:30 IST England v New Zealand at Pallekele, ICC World Twenty20 

19:30 IST Sri Lanka v West Indies at Pallekele, ICC World Twenty20

Sun Sep 30

15:30 IST Australia v South Africa at Colombo (RPS), ICC World Twenty20

19:30 IST India v Pakistan at Colombo (RPS), ICC World Twenty20 

Mon Oct 1

15:30 IST New Zealand v West Indies at Pallekele, ICC World Twenty20 

19:30 IST Sri Lanka v England at Pallekele, ICC World Twenty20

Tue Oct 2

15:30 IST Australia v Pakistan at Colombo (RPS), ICC World Twenty20 

19:30 IST India v South Africa at Colombo (RPS), ICC World Twenty20

Does a certain fixture on September 30 take any ones fancy??????????

So let us try and find the Teams that are best equipped to make the next stage

Group 1

Qualifying Record- 1 win against Afghanistan and a loss to India


I must admit I am struggling to identify a strength in the current set up after inevitably beating up on minnows Afghanistan and then being shellacked by India by 90 runs.


The only thing that can be said is they can be excused for that match for there was nothing riding on it with them already qualified. Plus with them playing as badly as they did they can only improve.

This improvement needs to be led by their pace attack, which on paper looks very menacing with a claim as being the best in the Tournament. The trio of Stuart Broad, Jade Dernbach and Steve Finn need to lift and find the form that could put the fear of God into any batting line up

Throw in Graeme Swann's very decent off spin and you see how the bowling could lead an English renaissance.


The batting against spin is just clueless, and how they counter this will decide their Fate. In a group with three opponents that have very able spin stocks with both Sri Lanka and the West Indies having potentially lethal ones.

If they remain as inept against the tweekers, their campaign will be over before it begins

Key Man- Eoin Morgan

One of the best T20 batsmen in the World, who has been less than stellar so far in this Tournament. Thankfully for him he has 3 games to redeem himself and set up the possibility of a place in the Semis.

His batting returning to its destructive best will be key to England making the Semis

My Say:

They were dead after the India embarrassment and will be buried in this stage

West Indies

Qualifying Stage- 1 win against Ireland and a loss against Australia


The Windies have a very able T20 side that has the potential to win it.

There strengths are two fold with them having the most game changing batsman in the T20 game in Chris Gayle backed up by a line up full of lethal hitters.

Secondly, there spin resources are varied and so dangerous with their wicket striking ability and strangling expertise of scoring rates undoubted


So far the major one in my mind has been the somewhat curious Selections

How the Hell can they justify leaving out Samuel Badree from the bowling unit??

A bowler with the most miserly economy rate in the game and a strike rate of real pedigree too!

On the field the biggest issues for the Team is in the mind in regards to temperament and consistency

Most of their players can put in a 10/10 display but then also stink it out with a 0/10 shocker.

Their ultimate success might rest on all 11 putting in relentless 7/10 showings every game, rather than their usual flashy cameos

Key Man- Chris Gayle

His batting is a given, but do not under estimate the worth of his bowling. Which is very tricky and eeks out some really important wickets. A bit like Sanath Jayasuriya used to do for Sri Lanka

My Say

I think it will be between The Windies and New Zealand for the last spot out of this group with me favouring the Windies to progress.

Sri Lanka

Qualifying- 1 win against Zimbabwe and 1 loss against South Africa


The Team has most bases covered with their batting being exceptional and their bowling being an eclectic bunch of match winners

A key in their bowling is the unorthodox nature of their spinners which makes them challenging to play. Then for the Western Nations that are traditionally weak in playing  even orthodox spin- they are truly nightmarish. It would be a very good time to introduce the new mystery spinner Akila Dananjaya to the fold for he could devastate. Especially with the calls that the pitches will more and more favour spin

Outside of their pedigree in the traditional disciplines of the game they are also a very accomplished fielding side


Very few

The one they have is an unhealthy reliance on their two batting Masters in Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara which is ok against most Teams for the likelihood is that both will excel.

But against an accomplished bowling attack as seen against South Africa if these two are dismissed it puts the pressure on the others in the line up to perform.

Many of which are not proven commodities in crunch time.

Key Man- Ajantha Mendis

In this group with Teams that are all suspect against spin.

I think Mendis will be a smiling assassin

My Say

Will qualify undefeated into the next round in top place

New Zealand

Qualifying- 1 win against Bangladesh and a loss against Pakistan


A huge key for the KIwis will be the fitness of opener Martin Guptill, who in the T20 arena is a brutal hitter as well as being a very fine fieldsman.

Going on the word from the Net, it seems assured he will be fit for the Super 8's which instantly transforms the batting from resembling a piece of Swiss cheese to being a whole different proposition.

Making the likes of danger men Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor even more lethal because they have support as well as taking the pressure of the Kiwi lesser lights


Their bowling lacks that real strike factor with them all being able, but rarely containing a killer punch. 

Key Man- Tim Southee/Doug Bracewell

I have lumped these two together for at present Southee is in the Team, but Bracewell could come in at some time in the Super 8's.

Both represent what the Team so needs in a fast bowler that has the potential and skill to wreck Teams.

The meaning to the Team if this became a reality would be palpable. With their miserly spinners bowling with pressure on the batsmen meaning they could and more than likely would strangle the Life out of them.

My Say

The Kiwis are always there or thereabouts when trophies are being given out in the shorter forms of the game where their cavalier styles and traditionally strong fielding sides are very suited.

In my mind there will be a Bees dick in between the West Indies and New Zealand for who goes through to the next round

Group 2


Qualifying- 2 wins against Afghanistan and England


The Indians are probably the most brutal line up of batsmen one could imagine. Any of their top 7 could rip any attack to ribbons with Virat Kohli viewed as the phenomenon of the shorter forms of the game. Just quietly, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, M.S.Dhoni and Virender Sehwag are the stuff of nightmares too.

Then in Gautam Gambhir, the Team has that perfect resolute presence in the top order that the more adventurous can thrive off.


As good as their batting is, their bowling represents the other side of the coin with it being very weak and easy to victimise

Only Ravichandran Ashwin and his very wily off spin can you trust

The rest are a collection of veterans with great careers, but huge question marks over them now in the latter parts of their careers

In the Tournament so far, Irfan Pathan has looked the best of the lot with his intelligent left arm medium....

Promisingly, Harbhajan Singh looked good on his comeback game taking 12/4, but the performance gains context with it being against England and its clueless batting line up against spin

Key Man- Irfan Pathan

Irfan is the thinking mans bowler that could give India what that truly need in a consistent striking presence.

If he does it changes the Indian line up and gives them a huge chance to win the Tournament

My Say:

This group is a nightmare with all of India's opponents having bowling units that could neutralise India's batting mastery. Which puts pressure on their bowling unit which I think will just crumble

So I cannot see them getting out of the group.


Qualifying 1 win against Ireland and 1 win against The West indies


Shane Watson's mastery with both bat and ball is the Teams greatest strength. He opens both the batting and bowling and has been lethal in both.

Away from Watson, the Aussie top 3 in the batting is very dangerous indeed with Dave Warner opening with Watson and then Mike Hussey coming in at three.

Away from the batting, the bowling outside of Watsons pedigree has two vindicated A Grade quicks in Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc and then a back up crew of the ageless spinner Bradd Hogg and some very handy part timers

If sense prevailed and Dave Hussey's all round excellence was added to the Team it would make it even more threatening.


An unhealthy reliance on Watson is the main one...

For his excellence has taken the spotlight off the others who have done very little in the current Tournament.

As the Tournament gets to its cutting edge starting with this very strong group do not be surprised if the other Teams neutralise Watson's might....

Meaning the pressure will fall onto others to perform

But can they?

Key Man- Dave Hussey

His leaving out of the Team has left fans outraged.

Especially when you look at his T20 record, which with both bat and ball is exceptional

If sanity prevails and he gets back in the Team he could be the deciding factor in making the semis

My Say:

I just have a feeling that the Aussies might surprise a few, but not quite enough to make it through

South Africa

Qualifying- The best Zimbabwe and then Sri Lanka


Easily the best Team on paper with every aspect of the T20 game covered

Their batting is highlighted by three of the best players in all forms of the game in Jacques Kallis, Hashim Amla and A.B.DeVilliers and backed by very able types in Petersen and Duminy.

Then their hitting potential highlighted by Richard Levi and Albie Morkel is outrageously good

As for their bowling, well that is not too dusty either with two vindicated top shelf strike bowlers in Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel as well as a vindicated run strangler in Johan Botha

Plus they can field better than almost anyone


Only one I can see is their middle order being fragile against spin

People will drag out the 'chokers' tag against the Team, but I cannot see many who are mentally frail in this Team

Key Man-Richard Levi

Huge hitter that has been opening.

He has proven his pedigree against the weaker Teams in World Cricket with this series of matches being his greatest challenge.

If he can perform here the benefit to his Team will be huge

My Say

Will make it through in 2nd place in the group


Qualifying- A win against New Zealand and a win against Bangladesh


With any Pakistan Team its unpredictability is always a strength for it makes oppositions uneasy.

Away from this reputation their bowling unit is truly elite with a claim to being the best in the Tournament. Especially their spin attack highlighted by the genius of Saeed Ajmal and the BOOM BOOM of Shahid Afridi. The focus always falls on these two which opens up many opportunities for the very skilled Mohammad Hafeez.

Who on figures is comparable to any T20 bowler

With pitches touted to support spin more do not be surprised if they introduce another spinning gem in the left armer Raza Hasan to the side

Look for him for he is special


Fielding always has been Pakistan's and it could ruin its chances here too

A lesser worry is a batting line up that is either hot chocolates or boiled lollies making you never quite trust it

Brilliant in the Tournament so far but can it last?

Key Man- Kamran Akmal

On two points

Crucially his keeping that is on a scale from complete rubbish with drops a plenty to  being brilliant. If the Team gets 'Bad Kamran' behind the stumps it kills the effectiveness of the Teams bowling which in turns puts more pressure on its fragile batting

Secondly his batting, If Kamran can bat as he has in the past he could be the difference maker the Team needs

My Say

Will get through as top placed in the group  

My Semi Finalist

Sri Lanka versus South Africa

Pakistan versus West Indies


  1. Very bad comparison.
    The t20 is all about batting and India and South Africa have the best batting line ups.
    It means the final will be played between India and South Africa.

    1. india's bowling worse than then india should not even select for super 8

  2. Yes I also hope these teams

  3. If you think T20 is all about batting you havnt been following the game the last few years...T20 is a game whos got the best bowlers who can restrict a team....Pak,SA,SL....Juries out on the 4th team.

  4. Today the way OZ played .... xposed indian Bowling one more time .... even if india had scored 200 it would have been chased ... Also Pak chased easily the 180ish score of india in warmups .... India has only come well against England (who are seriously horrendous to watch playing spin) .. giving india the "BOWLING" Advantage ....

    PS: I Second the Blog writers opinion .. but Aus can just swap the palce with saffers ... providing they beat 'em in their head to head counter ...