More silverware for Australia

2007-09-05 09:58

Arthur Turner

Predicting a winner for the inaugural Twenty20 World Championship is not an easy task due to the very nature of the 20-over version.

The shorter the game, the more even the playing fields become.

This gives the top eight teams all a realistic chance of winning.

However, Australia must start as firm favourites to emerge victorious due to their dominance of world cricket in recent years and having won the last three Cricket World Cups fairly easily.

Also, the gap seems to be growing between Australia and the rest of the cricketing world in all forms of the game.

Australia have basically retained their 2007 World Cup winning team but for two forced changes.

However, the biggest assets the Australians have is their self belief, their hunger to win and their ability to win big matches.

Australia have played five Twenty20 internationals to date and won three.

Limited overs

South Africa must be second favourites to win.

They play the limited overs game well and to my mind are the second best team in world cricket in all forms of the game.

The selectors' decision to leave Jacques Kallis out of the team was the correct one as his strike rate in limited over cricket is not ideal, as we once again saw in the 2007 World Cup.

However, the selectors may regret leaving out South Africa's best limited overs bowlers Andrew Hall and Andre Nel.

Twenty over cricket is not only a batting game but good bowling performances also make a difference.

The wickets in September will not be as flat as they are in March/April.

South Africa's biggest challenge will be believing they can really beat Australia on the big occasions.

South Africa to date have played five Twenty20 internationals and won two.

The West Indies proved in England that they are a good limited overs team with dynamic match-winning batting and a steady attack.

However, the same question always arises with the West Indies: Which team will arrive in South Africa and how hungry will they be?

The West Indies have played three Twenty20 internationals and won one.


Sri Lanka are better equipped to the longer version of the limited overs game than the volatile 20-over bash.

Their batting, with the exception Sanath Jayasuriya, does not have the explosiveness required for Twenty20 cricket.

Also, their bowling attack is better suited to the longer version of limited overs cricket, as, as an attack they are good at building pressure and then striking.

However, Twenty20 cricket is about damage control.

Sri Lanka have played three Twenty20 internationals and won two.

New Zealand, without their captain Stephen Fleming, will be hard pressed to reach the last four of the tournament.

The New Zealand team, with the exception of Jacob Oram does not possess the flare to be serious contenders.

New Zealand have played five Twenty20 internationals and won two.

India, without their big guns, will find it difficult to make an impact on the tournament.

Their captain MS Dhoni will have to play many memorable match-winning innings' if India are to reach the semi-finals.

India have played only one Twenty20 international.

Serious contenders

England's limited overs record over the years has been poor and their recent form against the West Indies confirms that this trend looks like continuing.

There is no evidence to believe that they will be serious contenders.

England have played six Twenty20 internationals and won two.

Pakistan continue to be a team besieged by difficulty and uncertainty.

It is difficult to see them operating successfully in the ebb and flow environment that the tournament will produce.

However, Pakistan with Shahid Afridi in their ranks can be dangerous on their day.

Pakistan have played two Twenty20 internationals to date and won one.

The other four teams Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Scotland have no chance of winning the tournament and in fact they should not even be there as they are devaluing the integrity of international cricket.

Kenya and Scotland have not even played a Twenty20 international, while Zimbabwe and Bangladesh have only played one each.

In the final analysis it will be hard for any team to stop Australia winning the Twenty20 World Championship and continuing their dominance in world cricket.

  • Arthur Turner is a former cricket administrator and will be writing exclusively for News24 and sport for the duration of the Twenty20 World Championship.

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    AB praises selfless skipper

    2010-11-21 18:15

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