Cricket World Cup 2011 – A Review

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Australia:

Whatever one can say about their tactics towards the game or their attitude, they are arguably the best in the business when it comes to the World Cup. It is not a joke for a team to win 3 consecutive World Cups and that too with top notch consistency. Though we all know that there is not Mcgrath or Hayden or Gilchrist or Warne in their side now, but they certainly do have brilliance and talent, they can rip apart any team on any given day at any venue. Maintaining an unbeaten 29 matches in CWC history is something which we all have to stand up and applaud.

Players to Watch: Mike Hussey, Shane Watson, Mitchel Johnson and Shaun Marsh.

Chances of Lifting the Trophy: 70%

Bangladesh:

They are the co-hosts in this episode of CWC, and they are known to upset any team on a given day. Once they were called as minnows, but today they are considered as a threat. No one can forget the famous upset they gave to Pakistan in the 1999 edition of CWC and to INDIA in the 2003 edition of CWC. Home advantage will be the biggest boosting factor for them and I will not be surprised if they make it to the top 4 from Group B. They are fighters and they do not give up that easily, though they have a brittle low order, their top and middle order is somewhat stable and strong. They’ve always had a very good fielding side.

Players to Watch: Tamin Iqbal, Sakib-Al-Hasan, Mortaza and Ashraful

Chances of Lifting the Trophy: 50%

Canada:

They were the runner-up’s in the ICC CWC Qualifier in 2009, they too have a proud moment in their CWC history where they beat a fully equipped Bangladesh team by 60 runs in the 2003 edition of CWC. Who can forget John Davison who scored the fastest century in the history of CWC. They can be good competitors but they are not good finishers. They are still new to the game and that lack of experience will kill them in this sub-continent. This team has got 5 players who are of INDIAN origin which is a good piece of info to know.

Players to Watch: John Davison, Rizwan Cheema and Balaji Rao

Chances of Lifting the Trophy: 10%

England:

The only team to have appeared in 3 CWC finals and not winning even once. (1979, 1987, 1992). They were rock solid during the times of Graham Gooch, Allan Lamb, Mike Gatting and somewhere in the middle that team lost all its steam and were looking pretty ordinary, but this new ENGLAND team is a bunch of very talented pros, the only dis-advantage will be their lack of playing a quality spin attack, but with the likes of Collingwood, even they can manage that a bit well. They have a quality pace attack which can shake any strong top batting order.
Players to Watch: Paul Collingwood, Kevin Pieterson, Eoin Morgan, and James Anderson.
Chances of Lifting the Trophy: 65%

India:

It’s my country and I always want them to do well. Apart from the only heroics of 1983 , a runner-up tag in 2003 and a SF Birth during the 1996 editions of CWC were the only highlights. This year I would want to call this INDIAN team as “Paper Tigers”, I know I am going to face the wrath for a billion people here, but I want to be frank in my review. Sachin has played only 4 ODI’s in this year, Ghambir, Shewag, Yuvraj, Raina, Dhoni are not in the best of their form, we may have a glimmer of hope that they know the sub-continent better than any team, but our team’s top order and middle order are an absolute mess, so getting to a good start is always a problem. Y Pathan is one star to watch out in this edition of CWC.

Players to Watch: Sachin, Y Pathan, Raina and Harbajan Singh

Chances of Lifting the Trophy: 65%

Ireland:

They were the winners of the ICC CWC Qualifier in 2009 and also they were stunning in the last edition of CWC, they defeated Bangladesh and Pakistan and threw both of them out of the campaign. They are a wonderful bowling team and decent batters as well, their fielding is much better than any of the sub-continent teams. They can screw the dream of any team on their given day, they are the best “spoilers” in this edition of CWC.

Players to Watch: William Porterfield, Trent Johnston and Boyd Rankin.

Chances of Lifting the Trophy: 10%

Kenya:

I remember Kenya for one thing, without them we wouldn’t have been in the FINALS of the 2003 edition of CWC, they were actually on fire in that season by beating Srilanka, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and NZ. They have a special memory in the sub-continent as well when they beat West Indies by 73 runs in the 1996 edition of the CWC. They are also capable of staging huge upsets and would be more than happy to play spoil sport for any team when they need a win against Kenya to qualify, in that sense they are ruthless.

Players to Watch: Steve Tikolo, Alex Obanda, and Obuya

Chances of Lifting the Trophy: 50%

Pakistan:

A lot of us think that they are not a combined unit after all the allegations and scandals they underwent, but to me they are the underdogs and they have the skill and fire to lift the coveted trophy. Pakistan is famous for their “Never Say Die” attitude and we Indians know that better than any other team. They too have a very young team where most of them have not been a part of a CWC, hence they do not have much pressure and they can perform to their potential. This team minus their scandals is one tough nut to crack and they will surely make their opponents to feel the heat.

Players to Watch: Shaid Afridi, Akmal Brothers and Umar Gul

Chances of Lifting the Trophy: 60%

New Zealand:

This team has a history behind them whenever they prepare for a CWC, they are the only team to have appeared in most number of Semi’s than any other team – 1975, 1979, 1992, 1999, and 2007, to me this looks like a curse than anything else. Today this team is in total disarray but it will not take much time for them to recoup and then start showing the results on the big stage, like the color of their jersey, they are always the “Black Horse” when it comes to CWC. I am confident that they will break in to the top four, in spite of their current poor run.

Players to Watch: Vettori, Ross Taylor, Brendon Mcullum and Kyle Mills.

Chances of Lifting the Trophy: 60%

Netherlands:

They have featured in the previous 3 editions of the CWC and they have earned the name of the most “Disciplined” side with respect to every department of the game, remember guys, how we struggled to score just above 170 in the 2003 edition of CWC and the entire nation went bonkers on team India and it took a player like Sachin to come and then apologize? They have the taste of how a sub-continent pitch would be during the 1996 edition of CWC, but this team lacks consistency, they either rip apart or succumb meekly.

Players to Watch: Ryan ten Doeschate, Bas Zuiderent, Alexei Kervezee and Edgar Schiferli

Chances of Lifting the Trophy: 10%

South Africa:

They have a bigger curse than the NZ, they always come very close to the big day and fail miserably. The only success they had in an ICC event is the victory during the Champions Trophy in 1998. They were only close till the Semi’s in the 2007 edition of CWC and apart from that there hasn’t been an impact by this team. They are certainly do not lack talent, they have that in abundance, but they lack consistency and application of knowledge, when they crumble, they crumble in a hurry. Gibbs may have missed the boat this time, but his 6 – 6s in an over against Netherlands is the first in the history of CWC.

Players to Watch: AB de Villiers, Jacques Kallis, Dale Steyn and Hashim Amla

Chances of Lifting the Trophy: 60%

Srilanka:

This is the team to watch out, they are the co-hosts of this tournament and to me they already have one hand on the trophy. This team has got the right mix to kill any opponent, they have batsmen who can be flashy, who can plan an anchor role, who can devastate and at the same time they have bowlers like Muralidharan and Malinga who can tear apart any batting line-up. They are not paper tigers by the way, they are real performers, they know the nitty-gritties of the sub-continent pitches and they are real masters in planning and execution. Mendis is the man to watch this season.

Players to Watch: Jayawardena, Kumar Sangakkara, Tillakeratne Dilshan, Ajantha Mendis and Muralidharan

Chances of Lifting the Trophy: 85%

West Indies:

My all-time favourite team, once invincible and today they are convincible. They are in some shape today and it is not that easy to build anything out of that shape. They do not have a lot of match-winners who can grab victory from the jaws of defeat. They have some good talent but that talent when combined as one force will only yield results. Right from Lara days they are too dependent on one player, if Gayle fails, the team fails, though we have folks like Keiron Pollard, they have to click in every match to re-live their history in this edition of CWC. Good quality side with no direction or game plan.

Players to Watch: Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard

Chances of Lifting the Trophy: 50%

Zimbabwe:

A nation ravaged with all political crisis and a cricket board which is under turmoil; that is the state of this team today. I believe the captain of the ship Elton Chigumbura will guide the team to some respect in this edition of CWC. They are also the team who are famous for giving upsets, as the way they did for the Aussies in 1983 and for India and South Africa in 1999 editions of CWC. They are highly unpredictable and vulnerable to pressure. One cannot predict things for this team, they can win or spin in the same day of the match. They were never the favourites to win in any edition of CWC.

Players to Watch: Tatenda Taibu, Charles Coventry and Ray Price

Chances of Lifting the Trophy: 20%

Satish Nagasubramanium

A vivacious person who wants to live life one-day at a time, and live to its fullest. A blessed soul by GOD, naturally gifted to sleep the moment I lay 180 degrees. Never has any regrets in life, love to make people happy, try to make people laugh, hate politicians, always stood up for corruption, never allowed a grey hair to fool me. Loves animals, hates people who talk on my back. Like to be honest and straight-forward, never afraid of losing, never ashamed of accepting my mistakes, religious but not a fanatic. A very ordinary human being with no extraordinary powers.

Image Source: [http://www.funrocker.com/cricket/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/world-cup-2011.jpg]

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