Thursday, 27 September 2012

Taufel's retirement leaves a dearth of umpiring talent



Come the end of the World T20, a great career will also end. This being Simon Taufel's career as an umpire. He now moves into a new role for the ICC titled 'Umpire Performance and Training Manager'. 

It is hard to believe he is only 41 years of age, as he has been umpiring for many years already. He is way ahead of umpires his own age. In fact the man who replaces him in the elite umpire panel (Bruce Oxenford) is 11 years his senior. 

Simon Taufel started out as a bowler playing with the likes of Adam Gilchrist and Michael Slater. But injury ended his playing days, this resulted in him changing from playing to umpiring. If he looks back he may actually believe that he has done a lot better than he would have playing. 

As an umpire he has been immense, I cant remember any notable mistakes from him. This being rather unlike Daryl Harper and Darrell Hair before him, who had their careers tarnished by costly mistakes and accusations. He has also not ruined his legacy by continuing until his eyes had gone, like Steve Bucknor. 

Having umpired in a boxing day test, before the neutral umpires rule had been implemented and one world cup final he has pretty much done it all. He would have had more than one final, had Australia not been so dominating by constantly qualifying for the final. 

Without Taufel there is definitely a dearth in talent. I believe Billy Bowden to be a really good umpire and in my opinion the next best after Taufel. He also brings his own style to the job. Aleem Dar and Asad Rauf are also very experienced, but the rest have not been around for as long. It is now Taufel's job to develop these umpires and make them to his own standard. 

Let me know who has been the best umpires over the years in the comments section much appreciated.

Monday, 24 September 2012

World T20 - How has the ICC got this wrong?



So the tournament is well under way and there has been nothing to really write about. There are many people who dislike this version of the game anyway. I am normally a defender of T20 cricket, saying it should treated separately to any other format, but this time it has left me a little bored. 

I do not blame everything on the ICC but their record of organising tournaments is not good at all. The world cup in West Indies a few years back was the worst tournament ever organised. This time around may be a little bit more disappointing to the ICC, as the WT20 is usually the competition they organise the best. Lets look at the reasons why this has been poor tournament so far:

1. No incentive to win the group: leading to dead rubbers:

The super eight groups were pre-decided, so as long as all the expected teams qualified, they knew who they will be facing in the next stage.  This could work, but then in my mind it has to be done by the so called minnow team in each group NOT playing the first two games in each group. I believe the only reason to have this seeding system is to make sure India play Pakistan once in the tournament, and the ICC make as much money as they can. This happened to both Zimbabwe and Afghanistan, both teams played the opening two games of the group and were subsequently knocked out. This is before Pakistan or the West Indies even bowled a ball. 

All this mean that the games: Sri Lanka v South Africa and England v India were dead rubbers (pointless games). Although both games were entertaining they didn't matter one bit. England being demolished by India and South Africa thrashing Sri Lanka by 32 runs in a 7 over a side game. This game in particular seemed to me the most pointless of them all, both teams through the next stage, no incentive to come top. I do not really think a 7 over game should be counted in the stats. It particularly messes up bowling stats, as we saw with Malinga going for 27 runs in his two overs.  

2. Why is the competition being played in the monsoon season?

To me this is the most awful scheduling, the ICC obviously do not know how the weather works in Asia. If they would like help on this I am more than willing to travel to Sri Lanka and explain to the person deciding on the scheduling that it is still the monsoon season, and that games will be rain affected. Why not play in another season when it is less likely to rain?

3. Minnows have not performed:

This is not actually the ICC's fault, but a definite reason why the competition has been a bit of a bore so far. Zimbabwe were the worst side, making club sides look good. Afghanistan bowled well against India but were atrocious in the field and lacked any quality with the bat. Ireland seemed to be slow out of the blocks against Australia and the match against West Indies was abandoned half way, but in all truth they probably would have lost.

So I have a good moan, lets hope the tournament improves now, which I am sure it will, weather permitting.  


I will leave you with a picture of the tournament so far: 


Wednesday, 19 September 2012

World T20 so far


The warm ups are all done and dusted and  there has been three competitive games  at the World T20 tournament, so what have we learnt. 

1. India will not challenge for this trophy due to their poor bowlers:

Watching India labour to a win over Afghanistan after unsuccessfully defending 185 against Pakistan in the warm up game, it is clear that India have a terrible bowling unit. Zaheer Khan seems to be unfit not taking a wicket in the match. His bowling at the present time is very average compounded by his fielding. Zaheer like Balaji look like old age pensioners running around the boundary, T20 should be a young man's game. Irfan Pathan has been in decent form before warm up games, but against Pakistan he was clueless, bowling a full toss to give them the match. The one wicket he took today was a clear inside edge given out LBW, that could easily have been a game changer. Rohit Sharma batted for 3 balls today, its time Dhoni puts in another front line bowler (who is actually decent) into the team.

2. England and Pakistan are looking strong:

These are only warm up games so should be taken with caution, but both teams have impressed. Pakistan showed the good side of their batting against India chasing down 185. This is impressive as people have questioned Pakistan's batting. The normal Pakistan batting did return in the next match being bowled out for 96 chasing only 111. In this game Pakistan impressed with the ball, bowling England out for a low total. England outplayed Australia in all departments on Monday as well as a fine bowling performance to skittle Pakistan out today. The two teams have very good bowling attacks which should impress throughout.

3. Australia are vulnerable in batting once the top 3 are out:

Today Australia were not tested to their full batting capacity, this due to their good bowling display. I am not sure if the poor batting was due to complacency or something else, but after Watson fell it was all down hill. The captain Bailey taking it easy scoring 6 runs off 17 balls. In my opinion they would be a much improved side if Bailey dropped out and David Hussey came into the team. 

4. The Colombo pitch is a good pitch for seam bowling:

Watching the Austrailian bowlers today it is evident that the pitch helps the seamer's. Watson in particular set the tone for his younger compatriots Cummings and Starc who both bowled fast and aggressively. Teams such as England, Pakistan and South Africa will be able to exploit these conditions well. I am looking forward to Stein, Morkel and Finn on this pitch. The Hambantota pitch seems on evidence to be a turner, as there were 9 wickets falling to spin in the 2nd innings. 

5. It was the Mendis show in game 1:

Jeevan Mendis started this route with his effort with the bat, scoring a good 43. He followed this up with 3 wickets in an impressive display. Jeevan would on any other day have expected the headlines, but his namesake Ajantha provided the best ever bowling record in T20 cricket. Figures of 4 overs for 8 runs and 2 wickets, truely amazing figures. Zimbabwe did not have a clue how to play him. Sri Lanka looked good during the match doing everything right, but I still have a slight feeling they will fall short. 

6. The minnows so far need to improve their fielding:

Afghanistan could have shocked everyone today if they had taken their catches. They played good cricket but were let down by the fielding. Ireland were under par in all departments, but they would be more disappointed that they did not put Australia under more pressure with their usual good fielding. 


Bring on the rest of the show, I personally cant wait to see West Indies play, for me the most intriguing team. 

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Why is Dhoni so hated?


Over the last few months I have noticed on twitter and on various blogs that many people dislike Dhoni. These comments surface particularly when India lose, it seems if they lose its his fault. If they win its down to having a strong team, I am not sure how this works. On Tuesday night there were many comments on my twitter feed stating things like "Dhoni should be dropped," "Yuvraj had cancer and was out for a year and he still plays better than Dhoni has all year."

So I typed in Dhoni as a search term in twitter and it took my every person mentioning him, people wanted him dropped for not picking Harbhajan, and for not batting faster. I got the feeling that many people hate Dhoni. 

My personal opinion is that Dhoni is a big match player, who has a great ability to delivery when it matters. His innings in the world cup final should be remembered, where he had the weight of a billion people on his shoulders, yet he looked and played calmly. He knows how to chase down pretty much any score and will play according to the game, yes like any person he got it wrong in the T20 v New Zealand, everyone is due a mistake. His mistakes are normally when it does not matter as much. 

An argument I have heard a lot is that he has poor batting technique and is lucky he got a chance as a wicket-keeper even though his keeping is not great. Probably one of the most unorthodox batsman ever to have played, this is his style, which he has been highly successful doing. When he first came to the team he was purely a big hitter, he know has shown the other side of the game proving him well in test cricket also. 



Runs
Average
100’s
Catches
Stumping’s
Test
3692
38.45
(5)
194
30
ODI
6908
51.12
(7)
199
66
T20
587
30.89
(0)
15
5


In my eyes if he was not a good batsman he would not have been so successful at all levels of the game, his stats as keeper are not that bad either. 

I have also heard an argument that he killed off other great players career. Again if this was true would Ganguly or any of the other players have told us by now? There was a dispute between Chappell and Ganguly, but have you ever heard Ganguly implicate Dhoni? Further to this it is in the best interests of Indian cricket if slowly the older players are fazed out before their own legacy is ruined. It has also benefited the younger players, as it has given Kohli and Pujara a chance in the team. 

The last and main argument to beat Dhoni with is that he is not a good captain and that he is lucky at best. This has to be the most nonsensical argument I have ever heard. You can be lucky may be with one trophy, but to win the amount he has cannot be down to luck only. Maybe he has an element of luck about him, in that he has good players, but mostly it is said that you make your own luck. So far in his captain-ship he has won the World Cup, World T20 and guided India to no1 in the test rankings (albeit very briefly).  

Added to this as captain of CSK his IPL team he has guided them to 5 out of 5 semi finals, 4 times into the final and winning it on 2 occasions. This my friends does not seem like luck to me. Finally lets compare his stats to other Indian captains:

Test Match Captains:

Captain
Games as Captain
No of Games won
Win %
Dhoni
39
19
48.7
Ganguly
49
21
42.9
Azharuddin
47
14
29.8
Gavaskar
47
9
19.1
Kapil Dev
34
4
11.8

Dhoni has the highest win ratio out of any of his predecessors, undoubtedly Ganguly has been a great captain also but Dhoni could surpass him. Do not forget that this win ratio is still the highest despite India not winning a match in the last two away series, which is amazing.

ODI:

Captain
Games as Captain
No of Games won
Win %
Azharuddin
174
90
54
Ganguly
146
76
54
Dhoni
127
73
63
Dravid
79
42
53
Kapil Dev
74
39
54

Again Dhoni has the highest win% here but this is likely to decrease a little if he plays as many games as Azharuddin. It would take quite a few losses for him to end up with a lower win ratio than either Azharuddin or Ganguly. 

T20:

Captain
Games as Captain
No of Games Won
Win%
Dhoni
32
14
44
Raina
3
3
100
Sehwag
1
1
100

The stats of Sehwag and Raina should not be considered as they have played less than 10 games. Dhoni does not have a bad record here either just a bit less than half wins. There is always a chance for him to improve in all 3 formats.

I am not saying that he should be considered the best ever player or anything like that, but I believe he should be respected for what he has achieved. Undoubtably one of the best captains India has had. For me it would be a disaster if he decided to leave. If you are one of those people who dislike him so much please let me know why by leaving a comment. I would be greatly interested to know anything which I am missing. 


Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Emotional comeback for Yuvraj


The date 11/09/2012 will be a memorable day in the life of Yuvraj Singh, it was the day where he made a comeback from a cancerous tumour in his lungs. I cannot comprehend what it is like to suffer from a life threatening illness, but to come back to top level sport after this is truly amazing. The game itself was pretty much a warm up to the world T20, but it meant a lot more to Yuvraj. To me it seems that the game signified to Yuvraj that he had won his fight. He tweeted before the match saying:


This nervousness is only natural for a person who stated that a few months ago he struggled to walk four steps. It must have been like preparing for a second debut, where all doubts return about possible weaknesses. Yuvraj personifies strength and character and will act as an inspiration to all, his twitter name @yuvstrong12 is a good match of his character.

So many people had doubted that he could make a return so soon, if at all, he has blown away all these doubts. From the showing in the match yesterday he showed that he is capable of becoming the player he was before his treatment. He bowled 2 overs, fielded at point and scored a quick 36, including a big six. After the game he was asked about the crowd chanting for him, he admitted to having a few tears in his eyes during the match. 

When last over started and Yuvraj was on strike I had this feeling that it would be the perfect way to finish this match if he had scored the winning runs. This would have been to perfect, I think he still did everyone proud, and maybe just maybe he can guide India onto more glory. 

If you checked his twitter feed over the last few days you would have seen many messages of support from across the whole world. Previously a British newspaper had hailed Yuvraj Singh as one of the top 10 ego's in sport. This is soething that cant be said of him now. 

The man who has scored 6 sixes in an over, was the man of the series in the successful world cup victory will now feel like he has a second wind. My message to the other teams is beware, this is a man who is just happy to play, he could be very dangerous with his new focus. 





PS: I am running 10K next year for Cancer research, if you would like to sponsor me here is the link: http://www.justgiving.com/AmitAcharya

Friday, 7 September 2012

World T20 - Bangladesh


The emerging force in Asian cricket, I believe they are a dangerous team who now believe they have a chance of beating any team. About 6/7 years ago Bangladesh lacked belief, they would have been beaten when the group had been drawn. The core of the team have been together for a while now, since the 2007 world cup. 

The captain is Mushfiqur Rahim, he is only 23 but has developed into a good leader. It is clear that he has always been an exceptional wicket keeper but his batting has come along over the last few years. He started out as a solid batsman but now has developed into playing a few shots. 

It is nice to see Mortaza back into the team, he has been very unlucky with injuries in the past few years. A quality bowler who used to trouble top batsmen, lets hope he comes back to his best. Ashraful is an enigma, he has the game to be a really good player, but recently he has disappointed a lot. Shakib Al Hasan is an exceptional player, up amongst the top all rounders in world cricket. 

Young players to watch

  • Nasir Hossain: Another allrounder that can develop into a good player. His spin bowling can be a handful for opposition. 
  • Shafiul Islam: Has been playing for a while, he is a good fast bowler. With Mortaza back he finally has a bowling partner up to his level. 
My Prediction:

It will probably come down to the game v New Zealand. This is a very big game for Bangladesh, as it would mean that they have once again qualified over a more established nation. They have good spinners in the team which could cause teams trouble, I think that New Zealand may pull it out the bag and qualify at their expense. GROUP STAGE

World T20 - New Zealand


Every time I watch New Zealand play I want them to do well. I am not sure why but New Zealand are always the team I support when India cant. They have a good team but not one I would call great. I would say they have some players who could get into most teams: Taylor, Franklin, McCullum, Southee and Vettori but others who quite frankly are not up to that standard yet. There are many young players in the squad, who could surprise, if that were to happen it would be some story. 

Ross Taylor is the captain of this side, a player who I really enjoy watching, he also plays for Delhi my favourite IPL team. Taylor is feeling his way into his role as captain, this will be a real test of his captaincy. There is alot resting on Taylor's shoulders, and he may feel the pressure. 

As with any New Zealand team the fielding will be excellent, the main concerns are over the batting depth. They will be batting on pitches which may be similar to the one which they collapsed in the first test v India. Jacob Oram in his day was a great allrounder, but a few injuries have seen him change as a player, this could be a good last swan song for him. If Vettori is fully fit he will do well as he is a quality player. 

Young players to watch:

  • Kane Williamson: A good middle order batsmen, I know he is considered by many to be a future captain. 

My Predictions:

New Zealand are a tough team to call. It will be between them and Bangladesh to see who comes out of this group. I think New Zealand could just edge out Bangladesh. SUPER EIGHTS

World T20 - Pakistan


This is a very talented team, this is when the board are not sacking players, changing the captains or players are not being accused of match fixing. Pakistan are the most successful team in this competition winning the second tournament and losing in the final in the inaugural competition. There are many players who have played in both these finals still around in the squad. 


The captain is Mohammed Hafeez, a good allrounder who leads by example. He has the hard task of unifying a team with so many former captains, each with reason to believe that they should not have been sacked. One of those former captains is Shahid Afridi. 

Afridi is the star name, he is the best batsman, best fielder and a very good bowler, on his day he can be a good watch. He is helped out in the spinning department by Saeed Ajmal, a bowler who England could not pick at all last winter. Pakistan's strongest suit is their bowling Umar Gul is a brilliant bowler who is deadly bowling at the depth. The team needs to step up the batting and fielding. They have players such as Razzak who is not known for being lightning around the field. 

Young players to watch:

  • Umar Akmal: He has been playing for quite a while. he like his older brother likes to attack bowlers. He is really fun to watch as he is likely to go after every ball, the downside of this is that he could get out every ball. 
My Predictions:

Pakistan are in the group of death with New Zealand and Bangladesh. if they were to start slowly they could be in trouble, as every game is a hard match. I do not think they will struggle and predict that they will make the SEMI-FINALS.

World T20 - South Africa


This team is vastly experienced in all forms of the game, they are currently number1 in test cricket and are close to number 1 in ODI cricket. They could cap off an awesome year by winning some silverware. 

South Africa have a always had the tag of Chokers, in knock out tournaments, this is something which they would want to change. 

The new guy in-charge is A.B de Villiers, he has carried on the role that Smith had done over the past few years. Gary Kirsten should also be considered here, he has past experience of winning this competition, and it seems he has a teams that can also win this competition. 

In Hashim Amla they have a player who is on top form, a player which will surely cash in with many runs in Sri Lanka. They have a good middle order who  are all capable of scoring big, the captain is a player who is inventive a plays creative shots. They have a long batting line up, with Albie Morkel and Wayne Parnell capable of hitting the ball long and hard. 

Young Players to watch:

  • Richard Levi: Although his technique is in serious question, he is a player that can hit the ball out of the park. He scores quick and holds the record for the quickest century, 117 not out off only 45 balls. He uses brute force, powering his way to big scores. 
My predictions:

In my opinion South Africa have the best allround team. In Kallis they have a player who can do anything, he plays a big role in the team. Dale Stein and Morkel is one of the best bowling partnerships in world cricket, aided by Botha and Peterson the spinners who do a good job. I think they will be FINALISTS.

World T20 - Sri Lanka


Loosing in the manor they did in the World Cup final has definitely hurt Sri Lanka. Since the last world cup all 3 of their heralded players have been captain. This could be there time to right a few wrongs. This is also includes the other final they lost, when Pakistan took the title of this competition. Playing at home they can be more confident, as they are the experts on these pitches. 

The current skipper is Jayawardene, his second time in charge. He is one of the modern greats of the game, very adapt to this form of the game. 

He has a record for the highest tally of runs in this competition, I am under no doubt that he will add to this total. Sri Lanka have picked a side mixed with youth and experience. In Malinga they have a unique bowler who does not concede many runs and takes wickets. It seems that Malinga has also been quite by his standards over the past few months, they will need him to be back to his best. The legend of Murali needs to be replaced and in Mendis they have a decent bowler, obviously not to the standards of Murali. 

Younger players to watch:

  • Dinesh Chandimal: A player who has been around for some time now, he is still only 22 years of age. He is a good technical batsman who can pace an innings well. He has some IPL experience which is pretty valuable in this competition. 
My Predictions:

Although Sri Lanka have the players to win this competition, they may fall short of expectations. I think that they are over reliant on certain players to perform, and if they don't they may struggle. I think they will get to the SUPER EIGHTS



  

World T20 - West Indies


Where to start with the West Indies, this is a team which could do absolutely anything. In the same group as Ireland the big fish slayers, there is a potential upset there. Alternatively West Indies have a squad very capable of winning this competition. 

Captained by Darren Sammy a man who is a capable leader, a somewhat smart cricketer who makes the most of his ability. Sammy had to take charge of the team in hard times, this was all in the absence of  Chris Gayle. He steadied a sinking ship, and now must have ambition to bring West Indies back up.

He has Gayle back to aid there quest, this is Gayle's best form of the game. One which he does not need to break sweat and still look world class. It is evident that Gayle has added intellegence to his game now, through playing the IPL, he now sometimes lets the other opener smash his way ahead so he can build his runs up before smashing the ball everywhere. Chris Gayle is just one of 4 allrounders, the others are no mugs either: Pollard, Dwaine Bravo, Russell. These 3 players are also very very good fielders, often saving many runs and taking catches which looked impossible. 

Sunil Narine in my eyes is currently the best spinner in world cricket T20 cricket. He wasn't as well known before the last IPL but he ended it as the best bowler taking his team on to win. 

Young players to watch out for:

  • Johnson Charles: a young opener who has a similar game to Chris Gayle. he is relatively untested at international level, but has a good record in domestic T20 cricket. If him and Gayle are paired together there could be fireworks.  
My prediction:

I am going for the good West Indies to turn up. I have a good feeling that Narine and Gayle will fire sometime. I think they can get to the SEMI-FINALS.

World T20 - Australia


For most of my life Australia have been the best team, expected to win every competition they played in. It is a little odd for me not to think they are favourites for this tournament. They are now back with the pack in what is an open draw. The squad is full of either very experienced players or very inexperienced players. 

The captain George Bailey falls into the later of these categories. He has only 5 international T20 games under his belt, he had been named captain on his d├ębut. He is if you didn't know a player who can change games with attacking play, a little like his predecessor Cameron White who drops down from the captaincy, raising doubts whether he will start all the games. 

The experience in the team comes from a rejuvenated Brad Hogg, the Hussey brothers and Shane Watson. The selection of Hogg is interesting, pretty much stating that Australia have no young spinners coming through. Warner and Watson at the top of the order can destroy any bowling attack, also aided by Matthew Wade. 

Young players to watch for

  • Mitchell Starc: An exciting fast bowler who looks a real prospect. It will be interesting how he performs on Sri Lankan pitches. 
  • Matthew Wade: He is a wicket-keeper/batsman in the mould of Adam Gilchrist. He can bat pretty much anywhere in the batting order, but seeing as Warner and Watson are established openers he probably will be used as a lower order hitter. 
My prediction

A good team, most of these players play in the IPL so generally they should be used to conditions and other top players. The middle order batting is the key to Australian success, this is a job for Mike Hussey. A definite flaw in the bowling attack is the spin department, this will be an issue in the competition. I predict that Australia will end their journey in the SUPER EIGHTS

World T20 - India


India over the last couple of years have gone to Sri Lanka and conquered all. There has definitely been a shift in squad selection back to fielding more experienced squads. This is largely because the younger players have been around the international stage for so long. There are a few odd picks which I am not sure what to make. 

With Dhoni as the captain India have a guy who has been there and done it all. He knows this format of the game like the back of his hand. His experience is a huge advantage compared to Australia, South Africa, England, Pakistan and New Zealand all of whom have relatively new captains in charge. 

The batting line up is probably the strongest in the business, this is a team that can afford to leave of Sachin Tendulkar and still challenge. The return of Yuvraj is only a good thing, something that everyone is happy to see. He will probably come in for the out of form Rohit Sharma, due to his ability to take crucial wickets. 

Harbhjan is also back in the squad, this is after he has done his little stint on reality television. His selection is interesting, I am sure he will be extra motivated now because he has now experienced what it is like to effectively retire. He is a good player and adds extra experience in the team but I believe he has an ego about him, he was over aggressive as a captain in the IPL and for this alone I do not think he deserves another chance. His selection could also have a negative impact on Ashwin as he is now unsure if he is the main spinner or not. 

The selection of Balaji is also odd, he is selected infront of Yadav and even Munaf Patel. Balaji who adds little in fielding and batting is a decent bowler but I believe Yadav is a much better bowler. Munaf before his antics in the IPL one of the best bowlers, he is being punished for this, by being left out where as Harbhjan walks straight back in. Zaheer Khan is still the best bowler but no spring chicken in the field, he will have to be hidden. 

Young players to look out for:

There are no young players that you haven't heard of, but Rohit Sharma is still pretty young and needs to secure his place in the starting line up. He is very capable of winning games, batting anywhere in the order. A very talented young man, he could be one of the best if he applies himself. 

My Predictions:

I feel India have the best batting line up, but the bowling is hit and miss. In Kohli and Dhoni they have two players in top form. The Indian team venture to Sri Lanka quite often now so conditions should not be anything new to them. The experience gained through playing in the IPL is invaluable, all of this makes India one of the favourites. I predict they will make the FINAL

World T20 - England


The reigning champions and world number 1 team, England are the team to beat. Since England won the last competition they have lost both the captain and man of the tournament. The loss of both Pietersen and Collingwood may play a bigger impact as the competition progresses, as they were the two most experienced players in the team. 

The new skipper is Stuart Broad, not a person who you could call a natural captain. Broad in the past has been accused of loosing his head when facing adversity, this was clear especially in the first world T20 when he just laid the ball on a plate for Yuvraj to hit 6 after 6. He is a new captain and will be wanting to impose his style onto the team, he is a little lucky that his team is talented. 

The balance of the squad look good, having a player for most scenarios. Steven Finn will now head the bowling attack, something he will relish. It is his big chance to show his quality, especially in the absence of Anderson. There are plenty of good allrounders in the squad, Patel, Bopara, Wright, Bresnan and Broad all of whom can be match winners at this level. 

Eoin Morgan is seen as the best batsman, he is coming off the back of what has been a pretty bad year for his standards. His mate Bopara will be aiming for a change of form with the bat after a disastrous series with the bat. 

Young player(s) to watch:

  • Jos Buttler - Powerful batsman who has excelled in T20 cricket. He has champions league experience with Somerset. Every time I have seen him play he is trying out new shots, likes to play the Dil Scope over his head. Buttler is unlikely to play unless another batter is injured or off form, his main rival Bairstow has excelled this season and is ahead in the pecking order.
  • Hales - It will be interesting to see England play Hales over Lumb. If he is selected as opener he can show his aggressive play, an ability to score quickly. 
My Predictions:

England are a dangerous team, and on their day can beat any other team.The youthfulness of their side should mean they are good in the field as well as fearless. But the inexperience of their side could actually cost them. It is also notable that they do not travel well to the sub continent and do not play spin well. For this reason I predict they will be get to the SUPER EIGHT STAGE.

Monday, 3 September 2012

T20 World Cup - How it works



So there are limited overs matches for England and South Africa to contest, T20 matches between India and New Zealand, and a few matches between Pakistan and Australia. As soon as these are completed the cricket fraternity will be focused upon the World T20 competition which starts on the 18 September with the hosts Sri Lanka taking on Zimbabwe. 

The Format:

There are a total of 27 matches packed into a 20 day period. The format is quite a complicated process, involving two group stages before any straight knock out matches are played. The first group stage involves 4 groups each with 3 teams in. This is generally two of the bigger cricketing nations and one minnow but in the case of group D, there is no minnow nation. 

The top 2 in each group will go into either group 1 or 2 of "The Super Eights," this is another 2 groups of 4 teams each. The top 2 in each team will then face the semi finals. If your still confused click ESPNCricinfo link for a brief summary. 

The groups:

Group A:
Group B:
Group C:
Group D:
England
Australia
Sri Lanka
Pakistan
India
West Indies
South Africa
New Zealand
Afghanistan
Ireland
Zimbabwe
Bangladesh


The competition:

Predicting this competition seems almost impossible, for me all the major nations have an equal chance of winning. Previous winners of this tournament include England, Pakistan and India. All three teams will be confident they can match there past endeavours. I believe that along with the three past winners South Africa, and Sri Lanka have squads to be classed in a group of favourites. Australia do not seem as strong as they have been in the past, although they are still a good team that is very capable of winning any competition. The three dark horses for me are West Indies. 

Click on the major nations below to see articles on each nation:


Please leave comments below on the competition and who will win:


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