Send Your Suggestions and Feed backs to

Feb 18, 2011

"The spinners could determine Australia's destiny" - Langer

World Cups, like Olympic gold medals, are special and every player would love to win one.
Four years is a long time to wait for a chance at World Cup glory and that is why it is such a coveted prize.
Like everything though, the bigger the prize, the bigger the pressure.
With so much time between World Cups, the building expectation and hope promotes a new level of intensity and competition, and the players can feel that.
Adding to the pressure of this year's tournament are the venues in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
The extra noise, the spinning pitches, the fast outfields, the hot, humid conditions, and the extreme fanaticism of the crowds in the sub-continent will add spice and intrigue to the competition.
Playing in India is never for the faint-hearted and with a World Cup on the line, the next six weeks is going to be a great spectacle.
Before a ball is bowled many questions are being asked.
Can Australia win their fourth consecutive Cup? Can England and South Africa win their first? Can India win on their home turf? Can Sri Lanka become the champions, like they did in 1996? Which team will cause the biggest upset of the tournament?
From Saturday, all these questions will be answered - but the team that ultimately triumphs will be the one whose superstars stand tall in the big games.
History shows that great players become so because they have the ability to excel when pressure is asking her most stringent questions.
Australia have won the last three World Cups on the back of extraordinary and inspirational performances in the big games.
Steve Waugh and Shane Warne in England in 1999 were breathtaking; during the 2003 South African campaign Adam Gilchrist, Ricky Ponting and Andrew Symonds were sublime throughout and in the West Indies last time around Matthew Hayden, Glenn McGrath and Gilly were outstanding .
That is not to say that the closest knit and most talented teams will not be the ones to watch, but when it really comes to the crunch, the eventual winner will the one whose stars shine the brightest.
With the tournament yet to start, it is really hard to pick the winner.
India have a plethora of stars; in particular Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Mahendra Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan.
They know their conditions well and often play them perfectly. Whether they can live up to the incredible pressure of expectation remains to be seen, but on paper they look excellent.
South Africa  too have a well organized and experienced one-day team. Jacques Kallis, Dale Steyn, Graeme Smith and the in-form Hashim Amla are the backbone of a very fit and confident outfit and, as usual, they should be among the top teams here.
Any team which has the talent of Murali, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene in it, and a home ground advantage as they have, should never be discounted and I believe Sri Lanka will be tough to beat, especially in Colombo.
Meanwhile, England, despite their problems during the seven one-dayers in Australia, showed during the Ashes that they are a tightly-knit, disciplined and talented team.
Their biggest challenge will be to remain clear-minded after such a long time on the road .
Three months in Australia followed by seven weeks in India is sure to be a distraction that Andrew Strauss, Andy Flower and his staff will need to manage.
Pakistan are always capable, and at times brilliant, but you are never quite sure of their consistency, while the West Indies boast some of the biggest names in the shortest version of the game.
Whether they can reproduce their Twenty20 brilliance on the biggest stage remains to be seen.
Disregarding their horrible form of the last 12 months, New Zealand always fight hard and Bangladesh, with their knowledge of the home conditions, could be the dark horse of the tournament.
While I don't think they can win the World Cup, they could easily shock a few of their opponents.
Of course Australia, with the chance to win four in a row, will also be tough.
With four genuinely fast bowlers, they will provide sleepless nights for many batsmen and with their experience and confidence they should be amongst the action come finals time.
Still ranked number one in the world, the way their middle order plays the spinners could determine their destiny here.
Just writing about each of the teams promotes an extra beat of the heart and I am sure this is not the first time over the next six weeks that the nerves will provide a reality check of just how tough this tournament will be.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts