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Cricket Lovely Cricket: ICC World Twenty20, Sri Lanka


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It's time for the hit-and-giggle World Championships! Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to The Age of Revolution!

So, what do we make of the field? England are the title holders, but are missing Man-Of-The-Series Kevin Pietersen (Ego/Politics), Dunelmian Dynamo and Captain Paul Collingwood (Retired/Dropped), and Surprisingly Effective County Journeyman Mike Yardy (Depression). In addition, Graham Swann's elbow might be falling off. Despite all that, they go into the tournament in reasonably good form and as World #1 in both of the shorter forms of cricket.

Clearly the changes have shaken the confidence of the bookies, though - Ladbrokes have India as 7/2 favourites to win, with England 7/1, behind Sri-Lanka, South Africa, Windies, Australia and Pakistan. Ouch.

I'm going into this one on an Anyone-But-India ticket personally. Humiliation for India on the World Stage may dampen the Indian public's appetite for Twenty20 and help kill off the IPL before it destroys world cricket (if you think this is hyperbole, read this.). India didn't give two shits about Twenty20 until they won the first tournament, then suddenly it was the apple of their eye. Maybe a good first-round hammering by Afghanistan can undo all that.

Mean spiritedness asides, I'd love to see Ireland and particularly Afghanistan do well. The Kiwis might be an interesting team this time out - they were in utter disarray recently, with an ego-riven dressing room, but have a new coach (a hilariously tiny man) and are showing signs of improvement. Plus they have Brendan McCullum, who, for all that he's half of the ego problem, is one hell of a Twenty20 player - I'll never forget watching him play scoop shots off Shaun Tait, bowling at 95Mph, on his way to 116* at Christchurch.

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The coverage is on Sky. All the matches will be covered by Radio 5 live sports extra and radio 4 long wave as well.

Hoping for a good performance from Ireland, they were decent enough in their series against Bangladesh during the summer. Would like to see the Afghans do well also. Nice to have some positive stories about the country for a change which their cricket team has been of late. Other than that it's a fairly open tournament. I can't really think of which team will win it as no one team dominates the T20 sphere. England must have a decent chance. If the young bloods can fire with the bat no reason why they can't go far. Will have to see how they fair up on the slow turning pitches mind.

Also agree with you Alexlotl, so long as India don't win I'll be happy enough, may be not the Aussies either :hat:

[edit] I've set up a fantasy league on espncricinfo if anyone wants to join it. RLL CHUCKERS - Pin is 9010

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I know the minnows have a hard task in this tournament and that they are facing top class bowling but somebody needs to tell them to stop trying to slog everything. Both Bangladesh and Afghanistan were set targets today that they were never likely to realistically get within touching distance of but at least get in before trying the big shots.

Looking forward to some of the big guns facing each other tomorrow.

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Brendan McCullum breaks another world record, 123 from 58 balls against Bangladesh. It's fascinating to watch him bat in Twenty20 - on occasions against quicks, he stands with both feet about 1 foot out of his crease, turning any good length ball into a full toss. You need Godlike reaction times and hand-eye coordination to get away with it, but he can do it, and there's no danger of getting stumped when the wicket keeper's that far back.

Pretty sad seeing the minnows all get battered.

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After the last two performances I can't see England beating Sri Lanka. They have given themselves a massive task to qualify out of this group. A wobbly top order and loose bowling certainly isn't a recipe for victory. When all areas are firing they are formidable opponents but the problem is that both the bowling and batting have been fairly poor so far.

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Cracking game between SA and Pakistan, Pakistan looked dead and buried until Umar Gul came out and started bashing it all over the place.

Good game between India and Australia on now, I fancy the Aussies, as long as they can cope with the spin.

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Can't see anyone from England's group troubling them, unless the Windes get through as Chris Gayle goes mental. India haven't looked good either, Pakistan are a total lottery who could thrash anyone or self-destruct (as they might do now against India). I hate to say it, but the only team I can see troubling Australia is probably England if their top order comes off. But I'm not sure England will even get out of the group at the moment.

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I'd disagree, Finn has been awesome and the young players fielded like demons for the most part.

The real problem was all the extra baggage the team had to carry because Pietersen wasn't there. Anyone suggesting things would have been different if KP had played are sorely mistaken. We would not have beaten Sri Lanka or Australia the way they are playing.

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I'm not suggesting that things would have gone better with KP in the team. The problem seemed that a few players had good matches like Wright, Morgan and Hales but whenever they didn't get a score the rest didn't pick up the slack.

England got themselves into good positions when bowling against the West Indies and Sri Lanka. They let both teams off the hook by leaking runs in the late overs and the inevitable early wickets made the chases more difficult than they should have been. It seemed to me that there was a lack of consistency apart from those who were consistently bad.

You are right though, Finn was again very impressive on subcontinent pitches.

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