Preview to the ICC World T20 â€“ Group B
Pakistan, England and Netherlands make up the Group B in the ICC World T20, with the hosts taking on the Dutch in the first game of the tournament.
It is difficult for one to visualise an upset in this group, so to say, Netherlands beating either of the more fancied opponents. The reason for this is that not only the Dutch haven’t been able to put one across any of their international opponents in the warm-up games, but also lost two of their three games to Bangladesh and New Zealand by a proverbial mile. Peter Borren, the lower-middle order all-rounder has been the only batsman to hold a semblance of a fight to the opponents, and even he hasn’t been out of the ordinary.
On the other hand, the Pakistani side should be an interesting one to watch, especially against the hosts, who have problems of their own. With barely any cricket in the last one year, the Pakistanis have had to rely heavily on the domestic games back home, the RBS T20 cup as the frontrunner. However, even there, the top run-getter was Imran Nazir, while the top scalper was Abdul Razzaq, both whom haven’t been picked because of their ‘illicit’ ties with the ICL! > As has been the norm through the last two or decades, Pakistan will depend heavily on the seam bowling attack, but the encouraging part is that their spinners have the spine to back them up. If Sohail Tanvir can get his bearing right, and the new-comer, Mohammad Aamer can live up to his billing, Umar Gul’s task as a slog-over bowler will become much easier than usual. Shahid Afridi’s ability to run through his overs without the opposition realising what’s hit them will be a huge asset and so will his hard-hitting form that had resurfaced in Dubai against Australia.
For England to have their home advantage, they will need the conditions to be as they would be expected them to be, because if the warm-up games are anything to go by, then spin will play a key part. England seem to be one of those few teams who have a pace bowling attack who can hit the straps, but only Graeme Swann as a frontline – or even a part-time – spinner. In contrast, most of the part-timers are medium pacers; captain Collingwood himself, to be followed by the likes of Luke Wright and Graham Napier.
Ravi Bopara could be the key to their success – or lack of it – as he has been a man on form as was evident during the IPL and the series against West Indies that followed. On the other hand, Kevin Pietersen looked a little confused on whether he is a good enough player at the T20 level or no, but he will definitely need to bat like the Pietersen that we have all grown up to watch. > Owais Shah’s batting in the shortest format may not have impressed Virender Sehwag for the Delhi Daredevils, but he sure is a batsman to watch out for in the lower-middle order. My personal feel is that Shah could hold the key to turn games on its head.
Between Pakistan and England, it is a close call, but I think Pakistan should just scrape through against the hosts!
Related news & articles
Thursday February 18
The first T20I between England and Pakistan will be played tomorrow at the Dubai International Stadium in Dubai. More
Tuesday June 29
The fourth ODI between England and Australia will be played at the Oval in London. More
Tuesday June 9
Kevin Pietersen may play in the Ashes with pain-killers because he may not have the time to undergo full treatment in a busy cricketing calendar. More
Saturday May 15
After only a couple of weeks of some interesting and quality cricket, the Aussies will play England in the final of the ICC World T20 at Bridgetown in Barbados. More