The Super Six
The last World Cup of the millennium is just a couple of days away. As cricket loving fans wait for the cricket carnival with prayers for their respective teams, let's analyze the two groups and the teams that might make it to the Super Six.
Group A consists of Zimbabwe, Sri Lank a, South Africa, Kenya, India and England.
There has been talk of this group being the tough group, but if you have the will and capability to taste the ultimate success of winning the World Cup, then you won't be complaining about the group compositions.
On paper and form, South Africa is the best in this group. They have a formidable bowling line-up, dependable batting and brilliant fielding and, most importantly, a captain who leads from the front. their only weekness is their sometimes suspicious batting. But I guess they should not be having any problem getting to the Super Six.
My next best team in Group A is India. India is definitely the 'dark horse' in this competion, though they tend to be inconsistent and do not do justice to their batting reputation; they have a great chance if they can get their act together. Don't forget that India has the best batsman in the world in Sachin Tendulkar who can take on the entire opposition team and is a one-man army. Then, there is Ganguly, Dravid, Azharuddin, Jadeja. Robin Singh and Mongia can throw around their bat too. But mind you , India has one of the best bowling line-ups to take advantage of the English conditions. their drawback? Well, the captain himself who does not believe in leading from the front.
My third team from Group A is England. England may not have been successful of late, but on their home turf they are definitely a team to reckon with, but I would not place my money on them to go past the Super Six.
Then there is Sri Lanka, who are hitting rock bottom everyday, but if they get their act together we might see an upset in this group though chances of that happening are very slim.
Zimbabwe and Kenya may provide some resistance, but I do not really think they are capable of causing an upset.
So here is the line-up for Group A: South Africa, India and England.
Group B has Australia, Pakistan, West Indies, New Zealand, Scotland and Bangladesh.
Australia and Pakistan are the srongest teams here. Australia probably has one of the best balanced one-day sides. They have a formidable batting line-up, capable of chasing any total, good bowling and excellent fielding, Their weekness will be in defending small totals. But they should not have a problem making it to top six.
Pakistan has brilliant individual players, but thier weekness lies in not clicking as a team. Their bowling is awesome, led by the great Wasim Akram, and has a dependable batting and not so great fielding. They should be right there among the top six teams.
The next team that might make it in this group is the West Indies. They are on a high after a Lara-led 'revival', but this is one team which is highly inconsistent and extremely dependent on Brian Lara. But lack of good teams in this group should ensure that they might make it, though I strongly feel that New Zealand can throw a surprise here by upsetting them.
Bangladesh and Scotland will gain experience by playing in this World Cup and nothing beyond that can be expected from them.
Here is the list for Group B: Australia, Pakistan, West Indies.
Here you go, the Super Six is ready, how about the semi-finals, final and the winner?? Well, your guess is as good as mine. But do not forget the dark horse called Iindia.
Editor's note: This is a guest column. If you want to write a column for us, here's how to go about it.