Sunday, April 1, 2007
Last week Ricky Ponting announced that New Zealand is the team to beat in this tournament and I agree with him. After India's exit, they are my favourites. Today I got an e-mail from my friend who is an ardent follower of the game and my good buddy. He said his favourites are Sri Lankans and finished his e-mail by "Come on Sanath". Well Sanath and Sri Lanka as a team, both proved that they are the guys to look forward to. When they advanced to Super 8's from Group B after winning all their matches, I thought they were not tested well enough and their real test would come in later rounds. Watching them play today against West Indies was a joy. This team is playing good cricket. Today they lost early wickets against a spirited opening spell but kept their cool. They stuck to a definite plan and the execution was perfect. They crossed 300 run mark with a last ball 6. This shows how good they have become and each player is playing to the potential. Sanath's century proved that he is still Sri Lanka's number 1 batsman. Middle order is rock solid and attacking attitude is scaring the opponents. Now once you cross 300 on a big ground and have a balanced bowling attack, half of the job is done. Sri Lanka bowled excellent and even though their main bowler Murali was expensive, other bowlers annihilated the windies batting. Only Chanderpaul played with some authority and played some great shots against Muttia Muralitharan. Sri Lanka is looking like a rock solid team with a very balanced side. They are brilliant in the fielding department and so many times we have seen that better fielding sides often win the match. They have a good pace attack spear headed by Vaas who has given them the break through in every match. Malinga is the leading wicket taker in the tournament and Dilhara Fernando is playing a role of a good support bowler. I think only Australia is having a similar attack. May be the advantage with SL is Muralitharan who on his day can rattle a team so easily. This team is going to reach semis for sure and they are the real threat for both Australia and New Zealand.
Posted by Pankaj at 7:38 PM