Sunday, October 7, 2012

Preview, World Cup T20 Final, Sri Lanka versus West Indies

Looking through impartial eyes the World Cup T20 Final between Sri Lanka and the West Indies has a real David versus Goliath look about it with everything in the hosts favour to such a degree that they should coast to victory. But that would not give full credit to a West Indies unit that has the unpredictable might to make this clash truly Biblical. 

Duly lets look further into this potentially mouth watering Final.

Likely Teams

Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankans fired on all cylinders to beat a very decent Pakistani side in the Semi Finals. The main talking point going into this match is whether they stick with the traditional spin of Rangana Herath or add a bit more mystery by including Akila Dananjaya. It would be cruel to drop Herath after taking 3/25 in the Semi, but the selection of Dananjaya would pose more problems for the spin shy West Indian batsmen. Just by the fact that he is a virtual unknown.

So this would be my Team

1 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 2 Mahela Jayawardene (capt.), 3 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 4 Lahiru Thirimanne, 5 Jeevan Mendis, 6 Angelo Mathews, 7 Thisara Perera, 8 Nuwan Kulasekara, 9 Lasith Malinga, 10 Ajantha Mendis, 11 Akila Dananjaya

West Indies

The West Indies were blown into the Final on the back of a 'Gayle Storm' in a brutal dismembering of the Aussies. Though the performance was regal it wall papered over a few cracks in the line up. Most notably the opening partner for Gayle with Johnston Charles looking to lack even the basic technique needed for the slap and giggle of T20. In this Final if he plays, the very accomplished Sri Lankan bowling unit will victimise his place in the Team to the hilt. So, if it was me, I would either replace him with the all round talents of Dwayne Smith or the sole batting skill of Darren Bravo. I would choose Smith for he gives the side more scope, and on what looks as a slowish pitch his medium pace could be very useful.

Leaving my Team as follows

Chris Gayle, 2 Dwayne Smith, 3 Marlon Samuels, 4 Dwayne Bravo, 5 Kieron Pollard, 6 Darren Sammy (capt.), 7 Andre Russell, 8 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 9 Sunil Narine, 10 Ravi Rampaul, 11 Samuel Badree.

The Questions And Answers That Will Decide The Final

1, Is The Final A Clash between Power and Class, and if So- Who Wins????????

This is actually a pretty accurate depiction of the Teams and their batting styles with on the one hand you have the Power driven West Indies lead by Gayle and Co and then on the other side you have the two names that stand out BIG

In Sri Lankan batting Masters Mahela Jayawardena and Kumar Sangakkara....

If it was any form of cricket you would bank on the Sri Lankans class every time for the power game depends more on chance than skill.

And sadly sometimes your luck is not in..........

But T20 is a bit like a parallel universe to mainstream cricket because its shorter length.

So the crash, bang and devastation and the astronomical strike rates it propels might leave a greater legacy.......

2, Plenty of Mystery, but who can Solve it Best?

Both Teams have their mystery spinners or in Sri Lanka's case they seem to have an Island full of them!

But which Team can best deal with these lethally unpredictable entities?

Hands down Sri Lanka for they sleep, eat and dream about spin and can play it better in their sleep than most of the Windies batsmen can in broad daylight

Only Marlon Samuels is what I would define as an good player of spin in the West Indies Team with the rest on a scale from average to dead men walking....

So I hope they find a way that they can be effective against the battalion of tweekers, but I fear that they will cut a scathe through the Windies batting

3, How Important is Kieron Pollard?


What is that we were hearing the snores from a 'Sleeping Giant' of the shorter forms of the game in Kieron Pollard

Whose timing was impeccable waking up just in time for a typically game changing cameo in the Semi against Australia


With him being out of form form a while the killer one two pounce that Gayle and Pollard represented in the batting was lacking

His return to form makes that already intimidating Power of the Windies batting look Superman like

4, Can Sri Lanka PLEASE Use a bit of Imagination and Daring in its Line Up?

I could just imagine in the Semi at the fall of Kumar Sangakkara with the Team 84/2 in the 13th over and set up for a rampage with Dilshan still sturdy at the crease. 21 million Sri Lankans would have started pulling their hair out when Jeevan Mendis was sent in.............

Why Not Thisara Perera to blast a quick fire 30 or 40 or at the very least if you favoured a more traditional batsman send in one like Angelo Mathews, who has real clout as well

Sending in Mendis just killed the vibe of the innings, and let us hope the Final sees a bit more imagination and daring from Sri Lanka

5, Which Team Has The Clearer Head Space to Deal With The Pressure?

Both Teams have doubts

Starting with Sri Lanka who have for a long time made FInals, but struggled to win them. Whereas the West Indies with how over joyed they were after the Semi Final win made you think if they viewed that win as their ultimate victory rather than just a step along the path to victory.

The blow torch will be on the Sri Lankans brightest with everyone expecting them to win with them playing in tailor-made conditions in front of their home fans. Whereas the Windies are a bit like a gambler that gets to play with House money with nothing to lose and plenty to gain.

So that differential between the two could be crucial

Who Wins!!!!!!!!

Sri Lanka should win this easily with them having the better all round Team by a long way and the game played in conditions they excel in and their opposition so struggle in

But I just have a feeling that the Windies might do it!

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