Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Look at Group F of the World T20 Super 8s

Pakistan, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Ireland

With these teams in Group F of the ICC World Twenty20, it looks a lot more weaker than Group E.

But then, all relatively weaker sides will give each other tough competition, will they not?

Here's a look at the 4 teams.

Pakistan, started as my favorites and entered through the back door.

Their batting has hardly look settled with 3 different opening pairs used in 4 matches. Younis Khan and Misbah have looked to guide their ship but have come too low down the order to do any damage.

But with the news of Abdul Razzaq's inclusion comes the ray of hope.

Its uncertain as to when Razzaq will join the team, but if he's available for all Super 8 games, then his recent exploits in the RBS 20-20 Cup and those of the past for Hyderabad Heroes in the ICL, provide Pakistan with a chance to bolster their top order.

Overall though, the batting remains a worry.

Sohail Tanvir looked good with the new ball; Aamer has been sharp picking up first over wickets in both games; Gul's yorkers have continued to do damage; Afridi and Ajmal found destructive from against the Dutch.

The bowling looks in good shape; the Kiwis and the Irish (fingers crossed) will find it difficult to cope with the pace and spin.

Sri Lanka will be harder to get past, however.

Q's Call: Played 3, Won 2, Lost 1

Sri Lanka, unexpectedly rocked the group stages and now look favorites.

With Dilshan, Jayasuriya, Sangakkara, and Jayawardene their batting looks top heavy but 3 of them have fired explosively in 2 games; while Mubarak came good at the end against the Aussies.

However, their middle order and the longish tail is a concern and untested.

Their bowling has relied on the triple threat from the M factor with both the Aussies and the Windies unable to confidently play Murali, Mendis, and Malinga. Even though Malinga has gone for some runs his slower ones and yorkers have picked wickets regularly.

They look like the strongest team in this group and look set to win all their games.

Q's Call: Played 3, Won 3, Lost 0

New Zealand, the injured eternal semi finalists

They have been severely depleted by injuries to Ross Taylor and Jesse Ryder, leaving the batting to rely solely on McCullum with support from the inexperienced duo of Martin Guptill and Neil Broom.

Oram and Styris have flattered to get going, while Franklyn has also been missing through injury.

Furthermore, their bowling, with the exception of Ian Butler who has been exceptional, has looked one dimensional with the absence of Daniel Vettori, who is also out due to injury.

4 key men injured - what have they been up to in London?

The eternal semi finalists don't look like winning much during the Super 8s.

Q's Call: Played 3, Won 1, Lost 2

Ireland, the ones with the ability to upset

Their batting seems to rely on the O'Brien brothers, both aggressive stroke players, while they're bowling depends on Boyd Rankin and Trent Johnston.

These names were instrumental in dumping Pakistan out of the ODI World Cup in 2007; many Pakistanis still have nightmares about that day.

While Intikhab Alam will be one nervous man leading up to Monday.

However, this time I don't think Pakistan will repeat the mistakes of 2007.

They may be tough competition for a depleted New Zealand side, but McCullum's luck as captain can't be that bad.

While Sri Lanka's Triple M Threat will devour them.

Q's Call: Played 3, Won 0, Lost 3

Before the tournament, my call for the semi finalists from this Group was Pakistan and New Zealand; with the way Sri Lanka has played so far, I am compelled to change that.

So Sri Lanka and Pakistan go through from here to take on West Indies and India respectively.

Just for the record, my calls usually turn out the other way round.

NOTE: My Calls stand at 8-4, Wrong to Right so far.

Make your pitch on this post...

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14 Pitched:

  1. SledgeHammer said...

    Ireland! Ugh, painful painful memories!

  2. Leg Break said...

    Strangely, having Taylor out will mean that the 2 old men part-time batsmen who have been so impotent at #5 and 6 will probably move up a slot each, and may be more effective in slots where they can play themselves in.

    Otherwise it’s the firing squad for both of them.

    NZ needs to use Nathan M more as a batsman. Frank and the skip likely to come back for tonight’s game.

    Broom’s not up to it; if Redmond gets called into the squad he should play ahead of him.

  3. donthaveaclue said...

    Q, I've a feeling NZ will do better than their team sheet suggests, simply because they're masters of maximizing their resources. Pakistan could easily go the other way.

  4. raj said...

    This does it. NZ sureshot semifinalists. And maybe, Ireland, too given that Q has predicted wooden spoon for them. Why did you have to do this, Q?

  5. Anonymous said...

    with the inclusion of Razzaq and some sane team selections, i guess Pakistan will win all three of their super 8 matches...
    btw Q, any idea where ramiz raja is? why aint he in the commentating panel?

  6. Q said...

    Sledge, a bit too painful!!

    I don't think we have played them since then..

  7. Q said...


    I think they'll stick to Oram and Styris lower down.. but Styris should surely be batting higher up.

    Can Nathan M bat? If he's half as explosive as his brother then he needs to be in the top 6 surely.

    Redmond is in.

  8. Q said...


    Thats true abt NZ.. but they've been suffering from the injuries..

    Pakistan.. who knows? :-)

  9. Q said...


    I was hoping my luck with calls would change during the Super 8s :-)

  10. Q said...


    Welcome to Well Pitched.

    I hope so abt Pak!

    Not sure abt Rameez Raja, but many other commentators are missing - Ravi Shastri, Gavaskar, and some others..

    Not sure why.

  11. LiB said...

    Ramiz has his contract with Ten Sports hence he is not in England covering the matches, also the reason why you dont see Waqar "butt" Younas..

    Shastri and Gavaskar ive got no clue about..

    as far as the group F is concerned ive got a very strong feeling tomorrow's match between Pakistan & Sri Lanka will decide the eventual P1 and P2 of the group.. i dont see the injury laden New Zealander's troubling the Lankans and Pakistan too will (somehow) manage to beat them..

    Q, what if Razzaq already has a visa for UK!! ;)

  12. Q said...


    I don't think the Ten Sports contract restricts Rameez because Bishop and Manjerekar also have contracts with Ten Sports.

    As for Razzaq, I hear he's landing tomorrow morning, a few hours before Pakistan's match which starts at 1:30pm UK time.. will they play him?

  13. LiB said...


    i say play him!! im sure he'd be raring to go..

    few years earlier during Pakistan's tour of Australia, Shoaib Warter landed in Australia few hours before a game and he was in the playing 11, so why not Abdul Razzaq!

  14. Q said...

    I remember that LIB, but this is what Younis said in the News:

    It will not be wise to play Razzaq after he has travelled all night to get to London.

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