It’s time for the IPL warm up tournament, sorry, World T20 Tournament. Don’t know how interested the cricketing Dopers are in this but here’s somewhere to talk about it just in case.
With the pre-qualifiers over, the tournament proper starts on Tuesday with India playing New Zealand in Nagpur. Groups are as follows:
Top 2 from each group go through to the semi finals.
India have won 10 of their last 11 matches in the format and look in pretty imperious form. In theory, their group looks reasonably tough but NZ are now in the post Brendon McCullum era so it will be interesting to see how the side reacts under new leadership, India just whitewashed Australia in Australia in this format and, as ever, God alone knows which Pakistan will turn up here. Bangladesh though…hmm. They’re definitely getting better. Tough group for them though.
In Group 1, England’s bowling looks comparatively weak in this format, though if the batsmen fire, they’ve got plenty of fire power. SA, with Steyn back and Rabada looking threatening, will be a good side, especially if ABDV runs into form, but they don’t have much in the way of a spinner, so interesting to see how conditions inform their performance. The West Indies and Sri Lanka, I must confess, I know much less about then the other nations - though WI’s team usually is better in T20 than in other formats, as their best players turn up for it.
It’s usually a pretty open tournament - I don’t think any side entering it as favourites has won it yet and there has been no two time winner of the tournament as yet either. Also, it’s mercifully short - this thing will be over by the 3rd April, unlike the ODI World Cup, which seems to last forever.
Pleased to see Afghanistan get through the preliminary group stages. They looked more the competent against sides in that part of the competition. Would be good if they could get more cricket (at least in this format, if not in ODIs) against the full ICC members to help them develop even further. Still, that’s in the hands of the cricket administrators, so I fully expect that to be ballsed up in some way or other.
Err…that’s it. Should be fun, in the opposite way Test Matches are fun (and in the way I now feel ODIs aren’t really much fun).