Sunday, January 14, 2007

World Cup SweepStakes - II

Windies - Lara's last world cup, and he'll leave nothing to try and make it a memorable one. The team has gelled well under his renewed captaincy and with Chris Gayle hitting top form, the top 3 (Gayle, Chanderpaul and Lara) in this team has the capacity to bludgeon any attack in the world. But the middle order has been a let down for them since quite sometime. Sarwan hasn't made full use of his talent and the rest are yet to find their feet in the team. The bowling also lacks consistency, but the pace trio of Fidel Edwards, Collymore and Taylor do exhibit a certain degree of class at times. The real guys to watch out in this team are Dwayne Bravo and Gayle. Bravo is more than handy with the bat, and his subtle change of pace has troubled quite a few batsmen. The way the team has fared against India(when they were in top form) and in the Champions Trophy shows the abilities of this team. Further, playing at home does give them a few brownie points ahead of the other teams.
POINTS - 6/10

Pakis - I am not sure if anyone can really predict anything for this team. A super talented team but how often have they justified themselves? Seldom. Controversies and injuries never part from this team, and its often been the undoing for them. Mohammed Yousuf has been in the form of his life, but his consistency of late in the shorter format of the game is a bit debatable. Inzy still holds the key to the batting of this team. However, with the emergence of Younis Khan, they do possess one of the strongest middle orders among all the teams. The bowling department though has an element of similarity. Apart from Shoaib (and we know he won't play the whole tournament, don't we), Mohammed Asif is the only bowler who the opposition has to watch out for. The team hasn't been able to find a replacement for Saqlain Mushtaq, and which can cost them pretty dearly against top teams. The fielding is another aspect which this team has to catch on. Even though Inzy's still the pillar for them, the player to watch out for is Younis Khan. A terrific temparament and ability to bat at any position - this guy has got a damn cool head which will be in huge demand in this premier competition.
POINTS - 6/10

Kiwis - A team which knows to make the best out of the limited talent that they have, and have always been a force to reckon with. But since the retirement of Christopher Cairns, they still haven't been able to find a replacement, which could bring the X factor into this team. Scott Styris was proving to be more than handy, but injury has kept him out for too long now and it would be asking too much from him to come out and perform straigtaway on the big stage. Fleming still is the batting backbone, and with Astle struggling with consistency, I am not too sure who else can carry the bat through. The new bloke aboard, Ross Taylor looks to be a pretty promising talent, but one cannot put money on him to perform, moreover since he has never played overseas for them. In the bowling department, Shane Bond still holds the key, but in the limited form of the game, one cannot bowl more than 10 overs. What after that? Generally the Kiwi bowlers rely on swing and seam movement, and there isn't going to be a lot of it in the Carribean for sure.
POINTS - 5.5/10

Poms - No point writing 'bout them. They have been terrible, and inspite of Michael Vaughan returning, in my view, they just don't stand a chance. Harsh words for a team which has Freddie Flintoff and KP in the middle order, but 2 guys can't carry a team on every day. Their bowling attack is below par with Harmison who's nothing short of horrible when he performs away from home.
POINTS - Not Applicable

Guess, need not comment on the rest of the teams like Zimbabwe, Netherlands et al. They probably can contest in a cup of their own. Nothing against them, but guess the ICC need to look at other options on how to globalize this game.


4 comments:

amol said...

I am not sure any team is worth desrving any mention exceot for Aussies... Only one bad day in a knockout stage can keep them away from the world cup.. I think they are really lonely at the top. But the point to ponder is what makes them so good?

People say they have a great domestic cricket set-up great Academy etc. Even we have an academy in India, England perhaps has a better domestic cricket set-up and we will many such similarities in other countries as well. The above reasons are important but there are other reasons I believe are as important....

Somewhere down the line Aussies have this patriotism spirit infringed deeply in them and they would do anything to serve their country. Guess we need to look at their school syllabi which must be teaching them about great Aussie spirit etc... I am not sure but it could be true....This spirit I have not seen in any team.. we simply let a match pass...they fight as if lives are dependent on them...

More to follow....

Anonymous said...

dude ... switch to livejournal

Harish said...

for the Poms, Harmison will any way not be playing in the ODIs

Paranoid.. said...

oh yeah Harish.. thanks for reminding that.. damn, i just can't away from the image of bowlin'.. the way he did in the Ashes!!