On 18th of this month T20 Carnival will begin. The fourth Twenty/20 World Cup will be played for the very first time in Sri Lanka.
Like usual there are 12teams(including 2 associate members) taking part in 4groups. First round will see each team play 2games in their group, before they move forward to Super8s which forms set of 2groups, and from that four will qualify in semi-finals, and winner of them will battle each other in finals to be played on Oct 7, ending a 19day festival.
There are always scattered stalls before an entrance of a carnival, displaying similar products of what one would expect inside a “mela”(carnival). This symbolize festival atmosphere. Very similarly, now six teams are taking part separately in T20 series, sort of a curtain raiser before the World Cup starting on 18th September, 2012. Currently, Australia is playing Pakistan in UAE(ODIs followed by T20), and both South Africa and New Zealand are on their last leg of their tour to England and India, both ending with a T20series.
So what can we anticipate in this World Cup ?
In last World Cup (held in West Indies), teams that scored maximum boundaries won all games…..will this be the same in SL?….doubt it.
I reckon condition(pitch and weather) would hinder/restrict batting to some extent, adding to this, we would see too many variable bowling employed, especially with spinners. Variation of spin bowling will be major weapon for teams, and albeit there would be heaps of big shots at display, but less % of boundaries.
Hence teams with maximum number of big over’s (> 10 runs/over)will win most games and possibly the Cup too. To achieve this, (i feel) teams would & should opt for 5specialist bowlers and 6 batsman(including keeper) in their playing XI. This would mandatory make a batsman occupy crease for longer period of time enabling them a par score to defend.
Now to drift a bit, let us see favorites for top bookmakers.
I have three favorite teams for this World Cup
Sri Lanka, South Africa & Pakistan(not in order)- & my Dark Horse would be India & West Indies.
And then I will be happily shocked if either one of these (England, Australia, New Zealand) win this World Cup!!.
Here is a list of major teams total performance in T20I.
Teams like South Africa, Pakistan & Sri Lanka have a huge gap between numbers of wins and loss. It strongly suggests they have been winning regularly, and, when you have less loss and more wins than confidence factor plays a key role for these teams in major events.
Another interesting figure in this table is number of fifties scored by batsmen…
……no team commands one fifty per game!!. Nevertheless there are at least two scores of 25plus for batsmen/team in every game.
Another fascinating figure is the total number of cricketers playing T20I for each team. Shockingly Pakistan who have a habit of employing more debutants(Test/ODI) than any country have least number of cricketers playing T20!!.
And not surprisingly both West Indies and England have maximum cricketers playing T20I.
My last table below has partnerships figures.
Sadly, even 50plus partnerships is not frequent, no team is able to produce one 50plus partnerships per game.
To conclude, the first ever Sri Lanka Premier League got over on 31st August, and Average Score for teams that batted first is 151…..and interestingly 150 is the Average Score(1st bat) for all teams(sum of all scores) that is taking part in this WC!.
Note : All data are updated before Australia v/s Pakistan, NZ v/s India & SA v/s England.
For my article to appear on the Clyde Street blog last week, was a real privilege. Gaining recognition for my work from none other than Keith Lyons was truly a humbling experience.