Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Analysis of the upcoming World T20...

Analysis Of The ICC World Twenty20  Srilanka 2012
This is an analysis of all the teams participating in the upcoming World Twenty20 to be held in Srilanka starting from September 18th 2012.
By reading this  analysis you can get an overall idea about each of the teams taking part in the tournament.
A complete SWOT Analysis of each of the teams would be done in  this Analysis.
Now lets do a team by team analysis of all the teams participating in the tournament:

  1. Australia:  This was a team  which dominated world cricket up to 2009. Since then they received lot of flak for their perfomance.  But to be fair to them it’s a team in transition. Over the past few months the test team has stabilised itself with a 4-0 drubbing of a hapless India at home. Captained well by Clarke, he was ably supported by his other teammates.  Ever since Clarke retired from Twenty20 Cricket to focus on captaining in Test and  ODI cricket, the Australian selectors have opted to make Tasmanian  George Bailey as the captain of the Australian team in the twenty20 format.  That was a unexpected decision  as the obvious  option would have been to make Mike Hussey or Shane Watson the Captain of the Twenty 20 side. But since Bailey  has captained Tasmania well in the domestic circuit they have decided to opt for him.

Now Lets do a SWOT Analysis of The Kangaroos:

Strengths:  The opening  combination of Watson And Warner are among the best opening partnership in the tournament. On their day they can single handedly destroy any attack. The presence of quality  twenty20 players like The  Hussey Brothers , and Cameron White boosts the team a lot.

Weaknesses:  The presence of an unsure candidate as a captain is a huge weakness. George Bailey has played some good knocks in the odi format but his rate of scoring is a bit slow for the T20 game. But he could be used along with Mike hussey to finish a game. And the presence of an inexperienced bowling attack in Srilankan conditions might prove to be a setback. And also a presence of a wicket taking spinner in the ranks is missing. The only spinner Xavier Doherty at best is a bowler who keeps a tight line and length and holds one end up to allow the seamers to take wickets from the other end.

Oppurtunities:  The biggest opportunity for Australia would be for Shane Watson, Mike Hussey and Patt Cummins.  Shane Watson can be a destructive force at the top of the batting order. If he and David Warner get a fast start then that would help the others build a high score. One of the best finishers in the t20 game is Mike Hussey. One example is the semi finals of the last T20 world cup against Pakistan where he singlehandedly demolished the talented Saeed Ajmal. If Hussey Comes into his own then it would be tough for any team to give their finishing touches against Australia. As regards to the young bowling attack Australia possesses it will be a challenge for them. But Patt Cummins has got good pace and for a 20 yr old  and has got a mature head on his shoulders. So in tense situations he would be able to bowl well.

Threats:  The main threat for Australia would be the Asian teams. As they have top quality spin bowlers. And Australia are known to be a weak against quality spin bowling. Altough Mike Hussey and Watson play spin really well it’s the others who are a bit weak. But they must score well against the seamers on flat srilankan pitches to minimise the threat caused by spinners.

  1. England:  England have had a very disappointing  home series against  South Africa leading into the World Twenty20 World Cup.  They lost their coveted number 1 spot both in the test and Odis. But they perfomed better in the T20 series against South Africa.
Like Australia even England have a new captain in quickie Stuart Broad. He also is an unusual choice as captain as he’s not had any captaincy experience prior to been made the England T20 skipper.
But it’s a brave decision and so far its worked for England as in the T20 games they have played under Broad they have had decent success.
Now let us do a SWOT Analysis of the English team:

Strengths:  The Bowling Attack. England has got a top quality attack led by James Anderson and Graeme Swann and ably supported by captain Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan. They have assets in the batting line up as well. Players like Craig Kieswetter, Eoin Morgan and Jonathan Bairstrow are very good T20 players. Eoin Morgan is idlely suited as a finisher. Another big strength of the English team is that they possess a team where almost every player can chip in with some handy runs. That’s a big bonus in T20 cricket as the more the better. And not to forget I personally believe Swann is the best spinner going around in  the world nowadays. He could singlehandedly win games for England as they are playing in spin friendly conditions  in Srilanka.

Weaknesses:  Kevin Pietersen. The absence of Kevin Pietersen due to some off-field reasons is a huge loss for England and the tournament as a whole. He’s a very talented batsmen .  With a wide variety of shots across the ground he can tear apart any attack on any surface. The English Cricket Board should have settled the Pietersen issue before the World T20. Without him the whole batting line up looses its firepower. Too much dependence  rests on the shoulders of  Kieswetter and Morgan to score most of the runs.  And Graeme Swann cannot take the complete responsibility of the spin   department. He needs good support. But with backup spinners like Samit Patel & newcomer Daniel Briggs it looks like Swann would have to shoulder the full responsibility of the spinning department in this World Cup.

Oppurtunities:  Stuart Broad should take the opportunity of captaining England and use it to the fullest. He has got a huge chance to make his post as the captain of the T20 team a permanent one. This is also a very big opportunity for John Bairstow as he has replaced Kevin Pietersen. He must try to stabilise his position in the team and make Kevin Pietersens entry back into the team a tough one. And finally newcomer Daniel Briggs as he could create a huge impact in this tournament as he is a unknown commodity to the world.

Threats:  The English team without the presence of Kevin Pietersen  in the middle order are highly dependent on the top order for their runs. So any team with a top quality bowling attack especially seam bowlers like South Africa would pose a big threat to England. Like any non  subcontinent team England would struggle against top quality spin. But I feel they have a batting line up to atleast minimise the threat posed by spinners.

  1. India:  One of the most watched and followed teams in the cricket world is team India. It was the team that embraced T20 very well from the outset as they won the innagrual T20 world cup in South Africa. Since then there has been a dip in the performance of the Indian team. But since this version of the T20 World Cup is taking place in Srilanka India has an advantage. They have the chance to go the full distance this time around.

Now let us do a SWOT Analysis of the Indian Cricket Team:

Strengths:  They have a really top quality batting lineup. Possibly the strongest batting lineup in the tournament. With the likes of gambhir, sehwag, raina, yuvraj, kohli and dhoni it is definetly one power packed batting lineup. The batting line up  must perform as team then it would pose huge worries for other teams. And now with the rejenuvation of Irfan Pathan’s bowling form India have a quality allrounder going into the tournament.  Even the likes of Ashwin and Harbhajan can contribute handy runs down the order
Weaknesses:  One of India’s biggest weaknesses is ability to play the short ball aptly. Although this world cup is being held in Srilanka, teams like England, Australia and South Africa would definetly target the Indian batsmen with a barrage of short deliveries.  And presence of underperforming players like Harbhajan and rohit sharma in the recent past is a huge weakness.  India's fielding& catching is a huge cause for concern.
Oppurtunities:  It’s a huge opportunity for Irfan  Pathan to establish himself as the expectional allrounder he was 12 -14 months  back. Its also a good opportunity for Yuvraj and Harbhajan both of them returning to the indian team after a long layoff. 

Threats:  As I had mentioned earlier the ability of playing the short ball would be the biggest threat for India. But since the pitches wont be that bouncy that threat could be minimised. Over- confidence and complacency is a huge threat for India. As conditions would be suitable to them they might play the games in a complacent manner. That should be avoided. According to me the biggest threats teamwise would be South Africa and Australia considering their bowling and fielding standards
  1. New Zeland:  A young team with some experienced players constitute the New Zeland team taking part in this World Twenty20 Championships. Like many teams even New Zeland is a team in transition with lot of promise. They have generally done well in ICC Events over the years.
Now let us discuss the SWOT Analysis of Team New Zeland:
Strengths:  Newzeland have in their ranks among the most destructive batsmen in the T20 format in Brendon Mccllum  and Ross Taylor. They have a wide array of shots. If they fire then Newzeland  will definetly be able to put up very competitive scores for their bowling attack to defend. And Newzeland have in their ranks Daniel Vettori the best T20 bowler in the world in terms of economy rates. And with Jacob Oram back to full fitness that gives them an  explosive hitter down the batting order.

Weaknesses: The main drawback for the Kiwis is the inexperience factor. Most of the members of the Newzeland T20 team have hardly played any games outside Newzeland. And most of the players have not experienced big tournament match pressure situations  before and that’s a big weakness for the kiwis. And they don’t have any good backup to Vettoris bowling. And there's too much dependence on Mccllum and Taylor to score the bulk of the runs.

Oppurtunities:  Since the Kiwis are not a favoured side to win this tournament they could use their low key status to their advantage. There are a few players like James Franklin and Jacob Oram and Nathan Mccllum who are good T20 players and who could use this big stage to propel their team to great heights in the tournament. And Doug Bracewell who is a promising bowler could use this tournament to improve his skills even more.

Threats: The main threats to the kiwis are Srilanka And Pakistan according to me. As Pakistan have quality spinners and Srilanka being the hometeam would pose a huge challenge to the kiwis.

  1. Pakistan:  One of the most dynamic and controversial teams and who are more in the news for off the field events such as constant changes in the captaincy post and frequent shift in the coach’s post. As a team they have played good twenty20 cricket in the recent past.  Captained by Mohammad Hafeez, Pakistan are definetly top contenders to win the tournament this time.

Strengths:  Pakistan Has possibly the most number of spin options in their team. With top quality T20 spinners like ajmal and afridi and spinners like hafeez and rehman it would be really a tough test for the oponents if the pitch assists spin and they are pitted against this spin attack. And the form of Nasser Jamshed at the top of the order is a good sign. And of course the presence of Afridi and Razzaq add the spark to the lower middle order for Pakistan team. T20 cricket needs good death bowlers and Pakistan are lucky  to have Umar Gul in their ranks.

Weaknesses:  The team ethics is a big problem for Pakistan. If they sort out all their diffrences off the field then it would really help them to perform  well. The presence of a foreign coach in the form of Dave Whatmore is another weakness as he would take time to get used to the atmosphere in the Pakistan dressing room and this would affect the decision- making process for the team. And Pakistans main problem over the years has been that they have had a fragile batting line-up. You never know when the batting line up would click or when they would fail. It is highly undependable.

Oppurtunities:  Pakistan would like to use the opportunity of using the spin friendly conditions  in Srilanka to their fullest. They have a top quality spin attack and they can use that to achieve great success in this tournament.

Threats:  The biggest threat to Pakistan is playing the moving ball. And teams with a top quality seam attacks would pose a huge threat to Pakistan as the top order of Pakistan is fragile and once you get past the top order early then you expose the middle order comprising of Umar Akmal, Asad  Shafiq  And Shahid Afridi very early.

  1. South Africa:  One of the most talented teams and by far the most balanced team in world cricket is South Africa. They have top quality batsmen, superb allrounders and world class bowlers.  They have the team to win this World twenty20. But history is not with them as they have always crumbled in high pressure tournaments. But with a coach like Gary Kirsten who has experienced winning ICC Tournaments( He was the coach of the Indian Cricket team which won the Cricket World Cup in 2011), this tournament SA would be find it easier to cope with high pressure situations.
Now let us do a SWOT Analysis of the Proteas:

Strengths: The biggest strength for the proteas would be the presence of AB Devillers as the captain. He is a street smart campaigner and knows how to adopt to various situations in the T20 format. To add to that he is the most explosive batsmen in the world in the shortest format. And he is also the wicketkeeper of the team which gives SA the option to add an extra batsmen or bowler in the team according to the requirements of the game. And the presence of a fully fit Jacques Kallis is a huge bonus for the Proteas. He is the person who stabilises the innings batting as the opener. And if required he can propel the scoring rate from the word go and he’s very handy with his change of pace. And with the quality of bowlers in his arsenal, it would make the job of AB Devillers much easier. And SA has the best fielding unit compared to other teams.

Weakness:  Too much of dependence is there on a good & solid start by Jacques Kallis to stabilise the innings.  As we have seen in England recently the middle order of the Proteas have not been consistent enough. So that makes Kallis’s role even more important. Playing in Srilanka requires you to have quality spinners at your disposal. But with Johan Botha and Robin Peterson I am personally not sure they can trouble too many teams. So again there is too much dependence on the seam attack who might prove to be ineffective on placid decks in Srilanka.

Oppurtunities:  This is a big opportunity for the proteas to end their chokers tag. They definetly have the team to go the distance but they must use this opportunity  to end their wait for a ICC Trophy. Richard Levi must use this opportunity to enhance his reputation as a destructive weapon at the top of the order. Even Hashim Amla who has established himself a world class batsmen in both tests and onedayers must use this opportunity  to establish himself in the T20 format as well.

Threats:  The Proteas themselves are a threat  to their chances of winning the tournament. As they are known to choke in crucial matches in crucial situations.  Apart from that I personally feel that SA have got all bases covered, and hence I don’t perceive any big threat from any team in particular.

  1. Srilanka:  They are the host nation in this version of the T20 Worldcup.  Lot of expectations would rest on the shoulders of the host team to deliver in front of home crowds. They have Mahela Jayawardene  captaining their side. He has a very young and inexperienced side along with some old warhorses too.
Let us analyse the host team in depth by doing a SWOT Analysis of the team:

Strength:  The strength for Srilanka like any other subcontinent  team is their batting. They have top quality batsmen in their team like Mahela Jayawardene, T. M Dilshan, and Kumara Sangakaara  in their team who can be lethal in this format of the game. And most importantly being the home team they have the home advantage  in terms of home crowd advantage and knowledge about the pitch and conditions. And in the form of Lasith Malinga,o  Srilanka have one of the best exponents of the Yorker. He can be deadly both at the start and at the end of the T20 innings. Srilanka need to use malinga effectively to their benefit.

Weaknesses:  The middle order is really inexperienced and weak. There is complete dependence on Mahela, Kumara& Dilshan to score the bulk of the runs. If they fail then the middle order doesn’t have what it takes to win games. And apart from Malinga there isn’t any world class bowler in their ranks to trouble oppositions.  Ajantha Mendis is back but he is hardly the force he was when he entered the international scene 4 years ago.

Oppurtunities:  Since conditions are in favour of Srilanka the young players like Mathews, Thisara Perera can come into their own. They can use this tournament to showcase their all round talent. And Mahela Jayawardene would like to use this opportunity of playing at home to end the drought of an ICC trophy.

Threats:  According to me, Srilanka would be struggle against South Africa the most. As they have the best bowling line up in the tournament, they are most likely to push the top order the most. And as I said earlier, once you go through the top order early I don’t perceive them to cause too much of a problem for oppositions.

  1. West Indies:  The lads from the Caribbean have a very talented side going into this edition of the T20 tournament.  They have lot of attacking batsmen and some quality bowlers. If they  perform well as a team they can definitely be top contenders for reaching  the last stages of the tournament.
Let us do a SWOT Analysis of the West Indian team:

Strengths:  The major strength of the West Indian team is that the team consists mostly of players who are allrounders. Examples of such players are Dwayne Smith, Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, Daren Sammy, Dwayne Bravo. And presence of explosive match winners like gayle, pollard in the team should hold West Indies in good stead. The big positive for West Indies is that they have found a very talented spinner in the form of Sunil Narine. He could use the conditions in Srilanka to his benefit.

Weaknesses: Apart from Gayle and Samuels, West Indies don’t have any batsmen. As I mentioned earlier, most of the batsmen are bowling all-rounders whose techniques aren’t  suited to pitches which are not flat. If pitches offer more seam or spin then this batting line-up might crumble. And the fact that their captain Darren Sammy is not a definite starter in the playing eleven is a big worry. He’s not that good a bowler and he doesn’t have the batting skills to cover up for his bowling.

Oppurtunities:  This tournament would be a huge opportunity for Chris Gayle to announce his return to the national side with a bang. Kieron Pollard has a huge reputation in T20 cricket. This tournament could be used by Pollard to enhance his reputation even more. And finally, this is Sunil Narine’s first big ICC tournament. He must use this chance to establish his name as a permanent  member of the side.

Threats: The main threat to West indies would be their complacency. Many players seem to be disinterested in representing their country for various reasons. If they can focus on their game, then the squad playing for the West Indies in this World cup could  go really far and possibly even reach the top four stage of the tournament.

As regards to the minnows Ireland and Zimbawe wont cause too much trouble for the stronger teams. But Bangladesh have shown gradual improvement in the Asia Cup held recently. So they might cause a upset in the tournament. And this tournament would be a huge opportunity for Afghanistan to showcase their talent to the world.

In my opinion, since this edition of the T20 world cup is been held in Srilanka I feel that the sub- continent teams hold a distinct advantage. But as hosts Srilanka don’t possess a side that could dominate the tournament and win it. Although I feel that they can most definetly reach the top four.
As regards to who I see reaching the last four I feel that it would be South Africa, India, Australia and West Indies. These teams have got a better balanced side compared to the other teams.
I don’t see any surprises happening where a minnow upstage a top quality side. But I personally feel Bangladesh could well possibly reach the super eights stage of the tournament.

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