India looms large for Proteas

2010-04-29 22:57

Christo Buchner

Johannesburg – Quality and not quantity.

That is what is being strived for in the International Cricket Council’s World Twenty20 tournament that starts in the West Indies on Friday.

After the Indian Premier League (IPL) was shoved down our throats for the last month-and-a-half, this tournament will hopefully be refreshing.

To have teams such as Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Ireland in the tournament adds to its romanticism.

The nature of this form of the game is such that any of the teams can upset one of the bigger ones. Zimbabwe already proved that by beating Australia in a warm-up game.

Two of the dangerous dark horses – Sri Lank and New Zealand – square up in the opening game on Friday. After that the Windies take on Ireland in a double header in Guyana.

South Africa are in Group C with India and Afghanistan. If Graeme Smith’s side loses against India in St Lucia on Sunday, the pressure will be on them to beat unknown quantity Afghanistan on Wednesday.

Smith has been quoted as saying: “With everything the Afghans have had to endure just to be able to play cricket and stay alive, the sight of Dale Steyn charging in won’t frighten the batsmen.”

However, most of the top sides should qualify for the Super Eight phase of the tournament. It’s then that the competition will be intense.

South Africa have the best performance record of all the teams in the short history of the tournament, but that does not say much.

Both previous tournaments were won by teams (India and Pakistan) that were not considered favourites.

Australia cannot be written off in spite of their humble performance record.

Any team that has big hitters such as David Warner, Cameron White, Brad Haddin, Hussey-brothers Mike and David, and Shane Watson, and a bowling attack with Mitchell Johnson, Dirk Nannes, Shaun Tait and Ryan Harris, has to be considered contenders for the sought-after title.

The Windies themselves can be viewed as contenders with the explosiveness of Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne­ Bravo in their ranks.

The support at home can be a help or burden of pressure for the Windies.


  • marco - 2010-04-29 23:31

    We lost to England in a warmup match today so realistically we have no chance getting into the Super 8 stages.Everybody in England today said that they can't even see us beating Afghanistan and that SA has been overated in big tournaments but never delivers always bottles it when it matters most and that really hurts even if it is factual.The Vroteas can't win anything with Greame Smith at the helm and for the life of me I can't understand why that man is still in the national side.Its funny though that win suddenly reporters in England cast their "South African slash Ireland side" as favourites to win the tournament.How pathetic can they get.

  • kiepie - 2010-04-30 07:02

    graeme wont play well as he wonts to protect his hand. he must rather give some young ones the opurtunity.

  • kiepie - 2010-04-30 07:02

    graeme wont play well as he wonts to protect his hand. he must rather give some young ones the opurtunity.

  • Steadfast - 2010-04-30 07:11

    @Marco. The Proteas will be in Semi's at least. Then from there anyone can win. Yet I must agree with you about Smith as captain. He should not be in charge for this touranment.

  • Grant - 2010-04-30 07:33

    Smith took 13 balls before he started scoring! Why is he in the 20/20 team? A start like that can loose the match and in the end we lost because we did not score enough runs.

  • @Marco - 2010-04-30 08:19

    Your logic is incorrect man - losing to England means we have every chance to make the Super 8's. If you go back in history and look at the warm matches before big tournaments, the Proteas have crushed many teams, only to go on and bomb out in the tournament itself. Therefore the fact they played badly in the warm up surely means the opposite will apply? Take Oz, they always start slow, they lost to ZIm in the warm up not for the first time, so for Proteas good omen!

  • skelm7 - 2010-04-30 11:45

    we really need to have a stop start type of tourney, whenever we crush everyone, we lose out in the semi's or when it matters most. This time round, we are sort of underdogs...the team that is not in the spotlight! we got a good chance, and its about time we get some silverware. we have the oppurtunity to be the holders of all the major world cups :), cricket2010, cricket2011 and soccer 2010. I am praying, so should you!

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