Sunday, March 27, 2011

Lanka versus England - What Does One Make of This World Cup?

It is completely crazy. A 10 wicket win by Sri Lanka over England, reigning T20 champions and a good side any day. The same England which almost handed India a shock defeat. But that is how this World Cup has been. I did expect Sri Lanka to win but not by 10 wickets!

Sri Lanka in Colombo will certainly have the upper hand against New Zealand - with their high quality three spinner attack that will trouble the weak New Zealand batting which is especially vulnerable against spin. The Sri Lankan batting has enough depth and experience to handle the New Zealand bowling and one any given day they should romp home.

As far as New Zealand is concerned they will bank on doing the basics right - bowl in right areas, field like madmen, pick up a couple of blinders and apply the right pressure - combined with some indiscretion from Lanka's batsmen, they might get their chances which they will accept. Their batting has been highly suspect save the mercurial Ross Taylor who if he gets going and gets some support, can give the Kiwis a decent score. It's time Brendon McCullum came good with the bat just as Guptill who is too talented to just score 30s. Fringe contributions by others would be important in getting to the 260 mark which is a must. I liked what Vettori did - a new innovation - bowl two spinners at the start of the inning against SA.

Sri Lanka would have the pressure of playing at home and their biggest trouble would be to remain focussed on this game - and not play as if they were already in the final. They cannot afford to take New Zealand lightly because that is where the Kiwis are good at - guerrilla tactics that are opportunistic, that will make small inroads and exploit them. With the Kiwis it is always the thousand cuts that they make that will bleed you as against the one big chop of the mighty axe. So it will not be over until its over. No great fireworks but it should be an engrossing match - the likes of which I enjoy watching!

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