So the league matches are over and the ICC T20 World Cup will move into its business end. There was not even a single surprise in the initial stage as all the expected eight teams have made the cut for the Super Eights.
The format of the World Cup is such that it almost looks a formality playing the league matches. Eight teams are divided into two groups and two teams from each group will advance to the semi-finals.
Group 1 has New Zealand, Sri Lanka, England and West Indies in it. But it is the Group 2 that will gain the maximum attention. The group has India, Pakistan, Australia and South Africa. All the four teams of this Group 2 are a potential champions and one bad game can see a team bow out of the competition. It can be said that this is the ‘Group Of Death’ and a team will have to be at their best to survive the threat.
No team in Group 2 has lost a match and that in itself is a daunting stat. Let’s have a look at every team individually.
India started their tournament a bit gingerly. They had a mediocre outing against Afghanistan and fingers were raised against MS Dhoni’s men. But in their next contest, Indians showed what they are capable of. They virtually dismantled the defending champions England, delivering them their worst ever defeat in terms of runs. India played their league matches in Colombo and that is where the Super Eights for Group 2 will be played. Indians are quite aware of the conditions and that can give them an edge over other teams.
South Africa has probably looked the best team in this tournament. The Proteas are ranked number one in T20 rankings and they justified their standing with their performances. They toyed with Zimbabwe in their first match and then outplayed the hosts Sri Lanka in a shortened game. Their bowling attack looks lethal and their all-round capability can come in pretty handy in the Super Eights.
Australia, ranked below Ireland in this tournament, looks like a team on a mission. The Aussies started the tournament with a commanding victory over Ireland. Against West Indies, their bowlers bowled badly but the batsmen came up with a strong performance to win the match by D\L method. Australia have a strong batting unit and the biggest plus point for them will be their openers form. Both Warner and Watson are looking in tremendous form and together they form the most dangerous opening pair.
Pakistan were in a spot of bother when Bangladesh piled up a good total, but some intelligent batting from Pakistan top-order ensured that their dream run in the T20 World Cups continues. Pakistan is the only team which has reached the semi-finals in all the three editions, they were the finalists in the inaugural edition, won in England and were in the top four in the West Indies. They are once again looking good to go the distance.
MS Dhoni’s men will be very well aware of the threats these three teams possess and they will have to be at the top of their game to be one of the two sides which will move ahead for the semis.
By Indian Sports News Network