Monday, September 21, 2009

Here Comes the Champions Trophy

As promised, I am back right when the Champions Trophy is around the corner.

Just in time!

I don't how I'm going to do this because today is the first day of my MBA classes; till now I was just busy partying during the pre-MBA orientation, while now its actual work and the Champions Trophy.

I've hardly followed any cricket in the last month.

The Australia - England ODIs went by and besides the news of Ponting hitting a fine century and Cameron White being in awesome form, I have no idea how the series went.

I was even more clueless about the triangular between New Zealand, India, and Sri Lanka. That series came and went.

But the Champions Trophy, I don't want to miss.

The revamped version with the top 8 sides actually gives it a very attractive look.

I believe it will be quite competitive too; and here's why.

Group A: Australia, India, Pakistan, West Indies

Australia and India seem like the two teams that will go through to the semi finals from this Group; however the unpredictable and explosive nature of Pakistan and West Indies, you really cannot rule them out.

Pakistan have been in cracking form in the warm ups with most of their top order getting the runs against Sri Lanka and the Warriors; the bowlers have been among the wickets too.

The best thing for them is the return to form for Misbah and Shoaib Malik; a lot however, will count on these two to keep that good form going.

West Indies have posted 300 plus totals in two of their warm ups, but their bowling has not left much to be desired.

South Africa plundered them all over the park, while a state side overhauled a 300 plus score against them.

On their day though, one never knows.

Especially when India seems to be off color.

I believe Pakistan or the West Indies could possibly take advantage of India's current form, or rather lack off, to advance from this Group.

I don't see Australia slacking; not after the way they have thrashed England in the ODIs.

I would rate them the favorites too.

Group B: South Africa, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, England

South Africa, as always, stand no chance.

They may get to the semi finals at the most; actually I would even be surprised by that.

England's morale will be so low after their bashing at the hands of Australia; even they will find it difficult to advance from this Group.

New Zealand, always the dark horses in such competitions, actually look good. I'm only judging from their warm up against India but I think they stand a very good chance in this tournament.

Sri Lanka have had a phenomenol run so far under King Sanga, and will definitely be advancing from this group.

How far they go though will depend on how cool King Sanga remains in the crunch games.

So, the 4 Semi Finalists in my view will be:

New Zealand
Sri Lanka

I'm looking forward to this Champions Trophy, particuarly the India vs Pakistan game.

That will be a cracker for sure, and I'll probably be watching it with a lot of Indians here in Manchester.

How that will turn out, you can only imagine.

As for the Champions Trophy, I believe this will probably be the first successful one!

Make your pitch on this post...

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23 Pitched:

  1. Thiru Cumaran said...

    New Zealand? I doubt it...perhaps Pakistan or India!

  2. Anonymous said...

    are you serious? how can you put NZ over SA? NZ hardly crossed 150 mark in the Compaq tri series.

  3. SledgeHammer said...

    Q - I am also really excited about this tournament. There are a lot of naysayers out there, but I say this tournament is a much better deal than the ODI World Cup.

    As I mentioned in a previous post - top 8 teams duke it out over just 2 weeks, it doesn't get better than that.

    Plus, while I love T20 cricket, there's just something missing in it. I think it's that stabilization period in ODIs, which is such an amazing test of a team's character.

    Should be a great tournament. Let the games begin!

  4. BiLo said...

    "South Africa, as always, stand no chance." I think otherwise. They are the tournament favorites (along with the Aussies) and i have a hunch they just might break free from their "CHOKERS" tag.
    In my opinion, its either the Proteas or the Lankans!!!

  5. More Than Just A Game said...

    NZ over SA? Interesting to say the least! OF course, with the way SA suck so bad in big tourneys, there is justification.

    We've got the preview for group B up at our blog. would love your comments.

  6. Rayden said...

    It might be a SA vs Aus or SA vs Pak final depending on who SA play in the Semis. If SA choke again in semis, then I would predict Pak vs Aus final.

  7. Wasim said...


    South Africa is not as bad as you think and Newzealand is not as strong as you think. I think the Kiwis get a lot of praise and hype which they do not deserve, at least not this team.

  8. Captain^ said...


    Intresting predictions, but as i've always maintained, SL is the team to beat.
    They are the finalists from my side, and i put my money on Pakistan to make the finals this time.. I dont know but there's something about our pathan captain and pathan V.Captain.. the only other side that could spoil pak's party would be AUS.

    But SL it is, I back Q for his views on SA (they usually are the fav's) specially after today's thrashing, they looked very very ordinary.

  9. Fayez said...

    SA looked very, very ordinary today. But NZ and Eng arn't that great. So SA will probably still make it through.

    Pakistan team for WI:
    1) Imran
    2) Kamran
    3) Shoaib
    4) Yousof
    5) Misbah
    6) Umar
    7) Afridi
    8) Rana
    9) Gul/Aamer
    10) Ajmal
    11) Asif

    Once Younus comes back, Imran should go.

    No place for Fawad Alam. He needs to establish himself in the test team before trying to force him into one-day.

    Asif must be tried tomorrow (at the expense of Gul or Aamer) before the crunch games.

  10. Captain^ said...

    why shouldn't they play both Gul and Aamir and ask uncle Naveed to watch the match on T.V ? I agree he grabs wickets, but he gives away a lot of runs in the process. I mean why would you play Naveed when you have 3 good pacers and 2 good spinners ? if you want to play him as an all-rounder i still would not second that, most of your batsmen are either in form or atleast peaking at the right time.

  11. Q said...

    Cricket Tragic,

    I wouldn't mind that one bit!

  12. Q said...


    I've answered the question in my latest post...

  13. Q said...


    I think the first 2 games have been awesome.. i think the rest of the trophy will be too...

  14. Q said...


    Break free from the chokers tag? Not in my lifetime I don't think.

  15. Q said...


    Thanx for sharing. Will visit your blog soon.

  16. Q said...


    That would mean India not going ahead.. u really think so?

  17. Q said...


    Answered in latest post :-)

  18. Q said...


    I feel it too man.. There def is something abt our pathan men at the top..

  19. Q said...

    Fayez, Atif,

    I would have liked to see Asif play today.. I don't know why he was benched..

    As for in place of whom.. I think instead of Rana.. Asif, Aamer, Gul will be very potent.. I still don't c why Rana is playing..

    And I would rather have YK instead of Misbah or Yousuf.. who will open if they replace Nazir - Malik?

  20. Fayez said...

    Q - malik practically opened today. our one-down players have been doing that for a good 10 years or so. Based on Malik's 130 in the warm-up, I'm hoping he'll do fine on a less bouncier track.

  21. Q said...


    Makes sense... Malik and Akmal to open then..

  22. Reverse Sweep said...

    yes Q, you could swap New Zealand with South Africa and it will be a great set of semi finalists.

    SA just trashed NZ big time (ok, not so big but they did)

  23. Q said...

    Reverse Sweep,

    Yes they did.. I'll be honest, I didn't expect it..

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