Predictions on the Champions Trophy
As the day’s rolls on leading up to the final champions trophy tournament, teams look to put in their final preparations into overdrive whether is to play a warm up game, to have net sessionor just to analyze opposing squads that are taking part in the tournament. Whichever one they are doing at the moment I can tell you this will be a cracker of a competition. This time in England (where the tournament is keeping) always produce some even cricket where bowling and batting is concerned so look out for some high scoring matches and also low scoring matches as well.
Teams to Look Out For
The two groups boast the top eight teams in international 50 overs cricket however, some are in a higher state of presence in cricket as we speak. When you look at group A with the likes of South Africa, India who are currently number one in the world in 50 overs cricket, Pakistan and West indies, these four teams possess the tenacity and quality to lift the trophy at the end of the tournament. If cricket was like that all the teams would have come to play. Based on current form and team morale I would put my money on Pakistan and West Indies.
Let’s talk about Pakistan firstly and their chances in this tournament. This team from Asia has always been regarded as being inconsistent but they have always been feared as well because on their day they are an outstanding team. Having guys in their batting line up like Mohammed Hafeez, the very talented and young pair of Nasir Jamshed and Asad Shafiq, the consistent Misbah Ul Haq and the very dangerous veteran in Kamran Akmal. All these guys on their day are match winners and with the young guns Shafiq and Jamshed performing on a regular basis it’s going to be hard to stop a team like this. Their bowling attacking is second to none with guys like Saeed Ajmal, Junaid khan, Mohammed Hafeez and Mohammed Irfan. This team is going cause a lot of trouble in the tournament even without players like Shahid Afridi and Umar Akmal.
The next team I predict to go through is the men from the Caribbean - you guessed it, the West Indies. Having not played at their best in the last champions trophy tournament because issues with their board which had them fielding a second string team, they should be eyed with cautioned. Any team with a player of the impact and class of Chris Gayle must be taken seriously. He showed what damaged he can do on his day in the just concluded Indian Premier League placing second in the runs list behind Mr cricket himself, Michael hussey, but topping the other batting list especially the highest individual innings (that world wind record breaking 175 against pune warriors). Along with Gayle, players like the classy trio of Marlon Samuels, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Darren Bravo are also looked upon to spare head the batting charge with ample support coming the captain Dwayne Bravo, the big hitting Keiron Pollard who showed he could bat for long periods against Australia earlier this year and also Darren Sammy. In the bowling department the pacy pair of Kemar Roach and Ravi Rampaul along with spin wizard Sunil Narine will look to lead the charge with the support of the captain, Sammy and Samuels with his reliable off breaks. Both teams look really balanced and should be paid attention to and although the other two teams boast in their line ups very good players, the performance of every member is going to be so important to determine this group that’s classified as the group of death.
Group B seems to be the easier of the two groups and although there are four wonderful, talented teams in them this one seems a bit straightforward than the other. My predictions for the two teams to go through would be New Zealand and Australia. England and Sri Lanka are struggling in the same department (their bowling). England only have James Anderson and Graeme Swann who are fit and can get the job done right now, but that’s only 20 overs. Alistair Cook's job seems harder right now having lost the one day series even before contesting the final match and they are missing their two frontline bowlers in Stuart Broad and Steven Finn. Tim Bresnan looks more focused on his wife's pregnancy than anything right now and Jade Dernbach is just not getting it right.
Sri Lanka now only has one consistent bowler in Lasith Malinga and playing against India recently in a warm up game he watched his team lose after they gave them 335 runs to chase. This doesn’t speak well at all for the team and their chances.
On the other hand New Zealand are playing the best cricket of the year right now for a team who couldn’t even make 100 runs in test cricket. They have already won the series against England with the third and final match not yet being contested. They boast in their batting line up the resurgent Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson and the very destructive duo of Ross Taylor and Skipper Brendon McCullum. Their bowling don’t spark in anyone's mind right away but with the leader Tim Southee very close to his best and Nathan McCullum always coming at you, they will get the job done with the support of the rest of the lads.
Whenever a global cricket tournament comes around the name Australia always takes spotlight. They are true champions and there always will be gunning for more titles that we have been accustomed to seeing. They have a fighting spirit like no other, they play hard and tough cricket right throughout the game and judge themselves harder than anyone else. Although this is viewed as one of, if not the weakest teams they have ever presented at a tournament they still possess the firepower to beat every team in this competition. In their batting line up they have the likes of Captain Michael Clarke, the powerful shot makers in Shane Watson and David Warner in company with the ever busy George Bailey. The bowling is a bit young but very talented with only speedster Mitchell Johnson having any history of champions trophy. He will be backed by all-rounder Mitchell Marsh, quickie Mitchell Starc, the always dangerous Clink McKay with those slower balls and cutters and Shane Watson whose bowling will be seen as important as his contribution with the bat.
Players to look out for.
There are several players that should be keenly tracked throughout this campaign for different reason. With the bat:
While with ball these are the players to look out for:
In closing these opinions are that of the writer Javaughn Buchanan and no one else and should simply be read to prepare for the eventful couple weeks ahead. Do enjoy the tournament everyone.