Who will win the Twenty20 World Cup 2007

Saturday, August 11, 2007

South Africa Squad for Twenty20 World Cup 2007

South Africa has followed the lead of the nations they will be hosting in September by dropping some stalwarts. Jacques Kallis is not deemed best suited for the Twenty20 version and so are Andrew Hall, Charl Langeveldt and Andre Nel. I agree with Andre Nel because his temprament is already at the Twenty20 level when he plays tests.

Graeme Smith (Captain)
Gulam Bodi
Loots Bosman
Mark Boucher
AB de Villiers
JP Duminy
Herschelle Gibbs
Justin Kemp
Albie Morkel
Morn Morkel
Makhaya Ntini
Vernon Philander
Shaun Pollock
Thandi Tshabalala
Johan van der Wath

Thursday, August 9, 2007

New Zealand Squad for Twenty20 World Cup 2007

New Zealand have pointed towards a change of guard as they drop Stephen Fleming for the Twenty20 cup and name Daniel Vettori as the new captain. Fleming had earlier relinquished his One Day captaincy in order to focus on his test career. This move now confirms that Vettori is being blooded as the captain for One Day games too.

Daniel Vettori (Captain)
Shane Bond
Peter Fulton
Mark Gillespie
Gareth Hopkins
Chris Martin
Craig McMillan
Brendon McCullum
Nathan McCullum
Jacob Oram
Jeetan Patel
Bradley Scott
Scott Styris (dependant on fitness)
Ross Taylor
Lou Vincent

Sri Lanka Squad for Twenty20 World Cup 2007

Although Marvan Attapattu is not an automatic selection for the Twenty20 version, his non-inclusion in the Twenty20 World Cup squad provides another hint that he has now become persona non grata in the Sri Lankan circles.

Sri Lanka has announced the following squad:

Mahela Jayawardene (Captain)
Kumara Sangakarra (V. Captain)
Sanath Jayasuria
Muttiah Muralitharan
Upul Tharanga
Tilikaratne Dilshan
Chamara Silva
Dilhara Fernando
Lasith Malinga
Faravez Maharoof
Chaminda Vaas
Koshul Lokuarachchi
Jehan Mubarak
Hasantha Fernando
Gayan Wijikoon

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Pathan Brothers Set to Represent India After 29 Years

Every one knows Irfan Pathan. The promising left arm fast bowler has had ups and downs in his relatively short career. He is a surprise inclusion in the Twenty20 World Cup squad. But his lesser known elder brother, Yusuf Pathan has also been selected in the same side. The two brothers now become the 8th pair to play for India and this time with a gap of 29 years.

Yusuf is more known for his batting and off-break bowling. Firls Class and List A averages of 31 are respectable but its his Twenty20 strike rate of 195 which must have pursuaded the selectors. Similarly, his off-break bowling is not very penetrative, but a Strike Rate of 7.33 in Twenty20 games again eases his way.

The above stats are based on only 4 Twenty20 games, but India being the last test nation to play an international game, any experience is vital for this first ever world cup.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Pakistan Squad for Twenty20 World Cup 2007

The PCB has announced the Pakistan squad for the Twenty20 World Cup 2007. The announcement came three days earlier than expected and may signify a unanimous decision.

As I had mentioned in an earlier post, Muhammad Yousuf and Abdul Razzaq have been left out. The third surprising dropping is of Rana Naveed-ul-Hasan.

Shoaib Malik (Captain)
Salman Butt
Imran Nazir
Younis Khan
Shahid Afridi
Fawad Alam
Kamran Akmal
Mohammed Hafiz
Mohammed Asif
Shoaib Akhtar
Umar Gul
Rao Iftikhar
Yasir Arafat
Abdul Rehman

India Squad for Twenty20 World Cup 2007

The wait is over and the Indians have finally declared their 15 man squad for the Twenty20 World Cup 2007. It is no surprise that Dhoni is the new Twenty20 India captain, but the inclusion of out of favor Irfan Pathan is definitely a surprise.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Captain)
Yuvraj Singh (V. Captain)
Virender Sehwag
Dinesh Karthik
Robin Uthappa
Joginder Sharma
Gautum Ghambir
Yusuf Pathan
Piyush Chawla
Shanthakumaran Sreesanth
Irfan Pathan
Rudra Partab Singh
Rohit Sharma
Ajit Agarkar
Harbhajan Singh

England Squad for Twenty20 Cricket World Cup 2007

England have opted for specialist Twenty20 domestic players for their Twenty20 World Cup squad.

Paul Collingwood (Captain)
J Kirtley
D Maddy
C Schofield
J Snape
V Solanki
L Wright

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Scotland Squad for Twenty20 Cricket World Cup 2007

The big story from Scotland is the inclusion of Gavin Hamilton in the Twenty20 Cricket World Cup. The squad is as follows:

Ryan Watson (Captain)
John Blain
Dougie Brown
Navdeep Poonia
Gordon Drummond
Gavin Hamilton
Majid Haq
Ross Lyons
Qasim Sheikh
Neil McCallum
Gregor Maiden
Dewald Nel
Colin Smith
Fraser Watts
Craig Wright

Muhammad Yousuf & Abdul Razzaq Set to Get the Boot

Through all the complaints of exhaustive training schedule, playing two games a day, having gone through three training camps this summer, the Pakistani squad for the upcoming Twenty20 World Cup is about to be announced.

The two big guns of the team, Muhammad Yousuf and Abdul Razzaq, can all bet forget about packing their backs for the trip. It is almost certain, barring any last minute injury, that these two will be selected for the tournament.

Both Yousuf and Razzaq have not been on song through out the training camp and it seems that fresher legs are being given more importance than experienced hands. This leaves Younis Khan as the mainstay of the middle order. More flexible batting options are required in the shortest version of the game. Fielding is also an issue where both Razzaq and Yousuf have not excelled and dropped catches and missed run out opportunities are going to cost double in Twenty20.

I think giving chances to younger players like Fawad Alam is going to give the Pakistan side a much better bench strength when it comes time to select a team for the 50 over game.

Dhoni to Captain Twenty20 & ODI Sides?

They say Mahinder Singh Dhoni is a great reader of the game, has is feet grounded, is an agressive and passionate person, and thus will be the best choice to captain the Twenty20 side. This will come to fruit on August 7th when the selection committee will sit to select the squads for the Twenty20 and the ODI sides. The captain will also be announced the same day.

Yuvraj Singh seems to be the only competition. With the big three, Tendulkar, Dravid and Ganguly opting out of of the cup, Dhoni seems the certain choice.

The question does come up, if Dhoni is such a good choice for the Twenty20 team, then why not make him captain for the ODI team too. All the qualities that are required in the shorter version will also be required in the medium version. Rahul Dravid may be part of the ODI team but Dhoni can infuse that sence of urgency and passion that seems to be lacking in the current captain. It is yet to be seen how the ODIs against England shape up but again, England is not a team to select as a benchmark.

Once the squad is captained by two teams, the question above is bound to raise its curious head and the players will be thinking the same too.

How would you answer this question as a selector?

ICC Punishes Umpires, Announces Umpires for Twenty20 Cup

It seems like a timely reminder for the umpires that not all of their mistakes can go unpunished. After what happened in the final of the 50 over (longer?) version of the cup, the ICC has punished the officials involved by omitting their names from Twenty20 version.

The umpires Billy Bowden, Steve Bucknor, Aleem Dar and Rudi Koertzen will be the big names missing from the tournament. No longer will we see the crooked finger rise. This is all good but I really think that ICC should release its official investigation report on what went wrong amongst the officials as the light faded on the final day.

The announced umpire list contains Asad Rauf, Billy Doctrove, Daryll Harper, Ian Howell, Nigel Llong, Simon Taufel, Steve Davis and Tony Hill.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Breaking News: PCB Conducts Doping Test

The PCB is currently conducting doping tests of all the probables in the Twenty20 Cricket World Cup preparatory camp in Karachi. The test is being conducted by "a doctor and a local representative of World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)".

The results will be available in a week's time and help in announcing the final selection for the cup in South Africa. Younis Khan, Danish Kaneria and Yasir Arafat, who are playing county in England, are the only ones not being tested in Karachi. They will be tested at their current locations.

I am glad that the tests are being held under WADA's rules this time around and the PCB should continue with its zero tolerance policy. I also hope that PCB's vigilence is not bound to testing alone but also to provide the players with better education on the topic and qualified nutritional advice too.

The Ultimate Twenty20 XI

The alert folks at Cricket365 love their lists. As the Twenty20 Cricket World Cup approaches fast, they have gone ahead and created a list of 11 players they consider to be the ultimate Twenty20 squad.

Many would notice the ommission of big hitters like Shahid Afridi, Muhammad Ashraful, Boucher and Chris Gayle. Sanath Jayasuriya alone represents the sub-continent in the team which features Paul Collingwood from England. Now who ever thought Paul Collingwood can work the charm off the leather in the lower order? Any one heard of Abdul Razzaq?

Jeetan Patel's fastish off spin may play the trick, as it is becoming a known fact that spinners fare better in this version than the speedsters, but doesnt vettori have better control or Monty Panesar more spin?

Australia Squad for Twenty20 Cricket World Cup 2007

The ACB has announced the Australian squad for the upcoming Twenty20 Cricket World Cup starting September 11, 2007. Keeping faith in their victorious World Cup 2007 squad, the team is given below:

Ricky Ponting (captain)
Adam Gilchrist (vice-captain)
Nathan Bracken
Stuart Clark
Michael Clarke
Brad Haddin
Matthew Hayden
Brad Hodge
Brad Hogg
Michael Hussey
Mitchell Johnson
Brett Lee
Andrew Symonds
Shaun Tait
Shane Watson.

Will Twenty20 World Cup End VVS Laxman's Test Career

The BCCI is in a dilemma. Four of its stalwarts, the mainstays in their middle order are getting old. Rahul Dravid, Sauruv Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman have been the backbone of the Indian batting lineup for most of the last decade. They have built together innings of utter beauty and supremacy. The great quartet, sadly, does not have a long time left. Age is catching up and dashers like Tendulkar have had to change the nature of their game.

The dilemma is how to pass through this transitional phase without inviting a gaping hole in the batting line up. The idea is always to introduce younger talent while some older hands are their to guide him. I don't believe all four will leave at the same time but its going to happen in a quicker succession than many believe.

Out of the four, VVS Laxman is the odd one out as he is not in line for selection in the ODI or Twenty20 squads. The current form of Ganguly makes him an asset in the middle order. Rahul Dravid is the Captain and we do not want to start riots in India by talking about dropping Tendulkar!

The quartet will not be part of the Twenty20 World Cup as the three eligible players have opted out. Their ODI places intact, its a good move to let the youngsters have a field day. But will this prove the end of the line for VVS Laxman. Good performances from any one of the youngsters will bring him in contention for selection in the ODI and the Test team. One such youngster sitting in line is Yuvraj Singh. He is a tested batsman and has had to sit for Laxman.

We will have to see if the rise of a youngster in Twenty20 World Cup will mean the downfall of the famed quartet.

Pakistan Gearing Up for Twenty20 Selection

Some very interesting news is coming from Karachi these days where the Pakistani squads selected for preparation of Twenty20 World Cup are playing each other. Pakistan Tigers and Panthers have been playing each other for five straight days in daily Twenty20 games.

One notable surpirse is the emergence of Salman Butt as an agressive opener striking fours and sixes to out do likes of Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik. Salman Butt has been thought of as a traditional opener but with these performances he has definitely raised the bar for the rest of the openers in the squad.

Another maverick, Shoaib Akhtar had been protected from the heat and humidity of Karachi. His first appearance yesterday left much to be desired. He left the field after bowling 3 overs which raised a lot of speculation regarding his fitness. Talat Ali, the Pakistan manager, explained that he was dehydrated due to the heat. Although he came back to bowl 3 overs for the other side, but was belted for 41 runs.

Overall the squad seems to be going through some tough and heavily fought games and I am sure this will raise the captaincy aptitude of Shoaib Malik and his deputy Salman Butt.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Twenty20 World Cup 2007 Schedule

Tuesday, 11 September 2007
ICC World Twenty20 2007
South Africa v West Indies, Johannesburg, 16:00

Wednesday, 12 September 2007
ICC World Twenty20 2007
Australia v Zimbabwe, Cape Town, 16:00
New Zealand v Kenya, Durban, 8:00
Pakistan v Scotland, Durban, 12:00

Thursday, 13 September 2007
ICC World Twenty20 2007
Zimbabwe v England, Cape Town, 12:00
India v Scotland, Durban, 16:00
West Indies v Bangladesh, Johannesburg, 8:00

Friday, 14 September 2007
ICC World Twenty20 2007
Australia v England, Cape Town, 12:00
India v Pakistan, Durban, 16:00
Sri Lanka v Kenya, Johannesburg, 8:00

Saturday, 15 September 2007
ICC World Twenty20 2007
South Africa v Bangladesh, Cape Town, 16:00
Sri Lanka v New Zealand, Johannesburg, 12:00

Sunday, 16 September 2007
ICC World Twenty20 2007
A1 v B2, Cape Town, 16:00
B1 v A2, Cape Town, 12:00
C1 v D2, Johannesburg, 8:00

Monday, 17 September 2007
ICC World Twenty20 2007
D1 v C2, Johannesburg, 16:00

Tuesday, 18 September 2007
ICC World Twenty20 2007
A2 v C2, Johannesburg, 16:00
B1 v D1, Johannesburg, 12:00
C1 v B2, Durban, 8:00

Wednesday, 19 September 2007
ICC World Twenty20 2007
A1 v C1, Durban, 12:00
B2 v D2, Durban, 16:00

Thursday, 20 September 2007
ICC World Twenty20 2007
A1 v D2, Durban, 16:00
A2 v D1, Cape Town, 12:00
B1 v C2, Cape Town, 8:00

Saturday, 22 September 2007
ICC World Twenty20 2007
TBC v TBC, Cape Town, 12:00

Monday, 24 September 2007
ICC World Twenty20 2007
TBC v TBC, Johannesburg, 12:00

Twenty20 World Cup 2007 Groups

Twelve teams are divided in four groups:

Group A: South Africa, West Indies, Bangladesh
Group B: Australia, England, Zimbabwe
Group C: New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Kenya
Group D: Pakistan, India, Scotland

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