Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Who is gonna win?

So it's all just begun! The World Cup is officially on after an apparently very long opening ceremony.

Now is the time to predict who is actually going to win.

The pool stages look to be fairly straight-forward to predict. Australia and South Africa will comfortably top Group A. Sri Lanka and India should top Group B, but perhaps Bangladesh can cause some discomfort to their Asian neighbours. Bermuda wont do much, but we'll be watching our hero Dwayne quite closely. New Zealand and England will top Group C, but can Kenya cause an upset? They were semi-finalists last time around (albeit a few forfeits helped them out...) Pakistan and the West Indies will lead Group D, and although they have a proud World Cup history, Zimbabwe are not the team they used to be.

This takes us to the Super 8's, where the minnows start to drop out and the real quality should rise to the top. With the top 2 teams of each group qualifying, and then every team playing each other (except the other team from their group - the previous result carried forward), we should be in for some quality cricket. You may be able to drop a game or two here, but I would expect this to be a terrific part of the tournament with the real top teams rising to the top. Anyone could make it through.

I predict Australia, South Africa and Sri Lanka will finish in the top 3. Australia and South Africa are quality teams and would succeed anywhere, and I suspect the small grounds and slow wickets will favour a quietly confident and under-rated Sri Lanka. As for the 4th team through, it really could be anyone. The Windies at home are a chance, and I have a soft spot for the Kiwis (I know, I'm an Aussie and this is not a good thing to say...) England will really need to play well, Pakistan could beat anyone but I'm not sure they can string enough games together against the other Super 8 teams to make it through, and India need to learn to play well away from home but have such a quality batting line-up that they could cause some problems.

But to round out the semi-finalists, I'm going for New Zealand on the back of Vettori and Oram.

So to the final, and I think it will be contested by Australia and Sri Lanka, with the Aussies to win. The South Africans have found a way to loose the last few World Cups, so perhaps it is their year, but I think the class of the Aussies and Lankans will carry them through.

As for the final, heart says Australia, head doesn't know!

Vote in our poll, which is in the sidebar. Who do you think will win? Hey Nick, who do you think is gonna get up?

If you can not see the poll, go here to vote.


1 comment:

David Bofinger said...

My take on this:

Group A will be South Africa and Australia. I back South Africa to go through first because there's no evidence Australia's over its slump yet.

Group B could be anyone except Bermuda. Most likely Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in that order, with India knocked out.

Group C will be New Zealand then England, with Kenya knocked out.

Group D will be West Indies then Ireland, with Zimbabwe and Pakistan knocked out.

After that, who knows. It will all turn on a flukey Shaun Tait delivery.