by a Thinker, Sailor, Blogger, Irreverent Guy from Madras

18 more matches to Woe Cup

A fantastic Tied game, a fabulous run chase, an unexpected collapse and unbelievable hitting - we have seen it all in this World Cup.  The tournament is at the half way stage today - 24 matches completed with 24 matches to go for the Final clash on 2nd April.

With 18 more matches to the Quarterfinal-Knockout stage, it is once more time to take stock of the teams and their prospects, just as done before the start of the tournament.

Playing conditions:

Nothing much has changed from that day.  Perhaps the only divergence is the non-emergence of the dew-factor as a major player (till now).   But even its marginal appearance has had the predicted impact. 
  • When England were ‘pace heavy’, they could surprise South Africa;  Same with New Zealand who could tie up Pakistan. 
  • When India was ‘spin-heavy’, England almost chased down the huge total. 
  • In both cases the fact that the defending teams had totals exactly opposite to my examples didn’t matter at all.

The pitches are wearing off, but I expect their impact and a major problem in the Indian Premier League, rather than in the next 25 matches of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.

Track Record:
I hit this one right on the head and no need to repeat it again.

Current Form of Teams:

This is another hit - with a 20 pound hammer.
The Englishmen really seem to be at sea - did you notice that 3 of the 4 matches mentioned in the 1st paragraph involved the English?  Not to forget that they were almost clobbered by the Dutch earlier.  The English batting should improve with Eoin Morgan coming in place for the injured Pietersen, whose ODI form isn’t something to write home of late.  Their worry should be the exit of Stuart Broad which is going to hurt their pace attack and wag-the-tail batting.

The Aussies, are really the team to top.  Though their bowling has been hampered with the injury to Doug Bollinger, the addition of batting Mike Hussey against spinners make them formidable.

The South Africans, have once again displayed their ‘chocking’ strategy - escape to defeat when victory stares in your face.

The Kiwis and the Sri Lankans have shown patches of brilliance and may yet toss up a surprise, but nothing dramatic.

The biggest surprise (and my mistake in almost writing them off) is the once mighty West Indies.  With Kemar Roach in blistering form, the Windies might yet make the semi finals.

As expected, the Pakistanis proved to be the most unpredictable team, but beware if they ever meet India in the Quarters or Semis.  With the fumbling Kamran Akmal in their side, they may appear weak - but their bowling attack is one of the finest.

Which leaves us with -

Team India :
  • true to expectations, the bowling attack has revolved around Zaheer Khan;
  • batting sort of consolidating around Tendulkar;
  • Yuvraj’s fondness for run outs still persists - he ran out Virat Kohli; 
  • instead of Nehra, it was Chawla (who I thought would never get a game) the guy who is ‘spraying’ the ball. 
  • Chawla typically starts the over with a ball which flummoxes the batsman; but tosses the 2nd ball on the batsman’s legs for an easy boundary and turn the pressure back on himself.  What a laugh!
  • the fielding is pathetic, with 6 players to be ‘hidden’ at any time - Tendulkar, Sehwag, Gambir, Zaheer, Harbajan and Munaf Patel.  Not that Yusuf Pathan, Nehra & Chawla are frontline fielders.

With the Q/Finalists almost decided - AUS, SL, NZ & PAK in Group A, with IND, ENG, WI & RSA in Group B, it is the line up which is still confusing. 

Whatever the points table might look today, the Q/Final line up in Group-A looks almost settled - AUS, SL, NZ followed by PAK (NZ trumps PAK because of better net run rate).

The Group-B is the one which is still open, perhaps because they have more matches to play (10 versus 8 in Group A).  In this group, it is the unexpected emergence of Windies which is going to tweak the tale.  They have to play IRE, ENG and IND in that order and are sure to win the first 2.  Thus the last match of the 1st round, IND versus WI on 20th March is the one which will settle the issue.

If IND lose that match, they will probably end up facing NZ in the Q/F, an easy match, but will have to meet AUS in the S/F, a tough one.

OTOH, if IND end up winning, they would have to meet PAK in the Q/F, ‘the’ match of the tournament and God willing will go on to meet SL in the S/F, at Mohali (not at Kolkatta, reminiscent of the 1996 fiasco)

I can spot 2 of the Semi-Finalists with certainty - AUS and SL.  The other two is a 3 way fight between IND, PAK and WI.   Here is the Google Spreadsheet:


  1. Nice prediction :) like alot... wil c if it happens... As u said the pitches r wearin off... its a big problem for IPL... As of now team india is good... But i dont know why Raina and ashwin are made to sit simply inside the pavilion without playing any matches in WC.... Waiting for a post regarding that issue... Nice :)

  2. Has to happen this way. Can't see any way out. Can you?

  3. I think u are over rating the windies here :) they cannot win both eng and india easily :) may be one of these two is ok !! but windies topping the group may be tough ... their bowling has been performing only against the minnows !! we wont know what will happen when benn bowls to sachin and other high class batsmen ! he sure wil go for hell a lot of runs :)

  4. @anon (sudhar :P) as of now team india is good ??? lol chasing against ireland they lost wickets and today lol 139/5 !! they will win easily but team india is good ?? on what basis ?? front line bowler bhajji is not able to pick up wickets and whats the role of gambhir in the team ? he should either open or should be replaced by raina :)

  5. @balaji - comment 1
    yup perhaps slightly overrating them - compensating for writing them off? LOL

    WI topping the group:
    That's why I said IND/WI match will be a decider. Whoever wins the group is likely to top. If we top, we face PAK. If we don't, we face NZ.

    But if we face NZ in Q/F, we have to face AUS in S/F

  6. @ balaji - comment 2
    Agree. Team IND just about manages to scrape through. Nothing convincing to say that they 'look' or 'are' good.

    They are just a margin better than ENG;
    RSA will lose to IND because of the 'chocking' problem - nothing else;
    And can't guess how IND will hold up against WI.

    Against PAK - it is anybody's game.
    Against SL, IND might just scrape thro'
    Against AUS, unless they play at Chennai (on a turning pitch & get Mike Hussey out early), it would be curtains.

  7. @balaji: yes i accept dat gambhir's role s not upto the mark... but if they replace him wit raina, it ll b more good... and indian team s good oly as of now... England supporters wont like indian team basically... they hate indian team...

  8. ^^
    u're too harsh, i think. In sports, no one 'hates' another or team. dey merely dislike others.

    Apart there's no harm if someone likes one particular team against other - even a 'home' team. Going further you can even say that 'I' don't like IND team - but no so.

    Last please take my advice -
    In webworld or blogosphere, pls avoid attacking anyone personally - u can attack, blast or tear to pieces their 'view point' or 'opinions', but pls don't attack them personally - like saying '1' supporters 'hate' the '2' team, etc. It reflects on you badly.

    Hope you understand my point, if u read it.

  9. @ sudhar :P lol !!! hate the indian team ? :D hahaha !! if i say the truth its hate ? :) and if it is good india should have won easily against ire and the oranje

  10. okies! enough flaming, pls.


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