Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Quarter to Semifinals

5 days or merely over 100 hours from now and we will be discussing about semifinals. But in those 100-plus-hours, action we are going to encounter is enormous. No team can afford to put a foot wrong. If they do- simply put- their world-cup 2011 will be over. That is why Yuvraj said ‘this is what you play for- your moment of life!’

As imagined, before the start of world cup, all small teams are out of quarterfinals. Though team like Ireland, Bangladesh created some excitement in group of death- B. But that was not enough to qualify themselves for quarter finals. So, expected 8 teams will be fighting for place in semifinals. Take my words; this is going to be super week for all of us.

Now, I thought why shouldn't I put my feet in Paul- the octopus’s shoes and start predicting the results. Yes, yes, I know Paul was god-gifted. But nothing wrong in guessing- using brain (and heart- when it comes to India..!)

Let’s start:

Pak vs WI:
Pak team is on song… Momentum is with them, high on confidence after beating Aussies. They have passion do to the best for their country this time, even more than anytime in past. And versus West Indies- rather dull performed, low on moral, but talented and unpredictable side. My guess: Pak wins. Cheer up Pakistani fans…!

Aus vs India:

Well, there is dilemma in between my brain and heart. While my brain says India has not performed to their potential and if they continue their below-the-average performance against mighty Aussies, they will be out of World cup…! At the same time, Aussies are not at their peak, middle order problems, Punter, Clarke out of form… So, the contest will be even but my brain chooses Aussie side as favorites. But…
Hold on, but my heart says, Aussie team is on decline with respect to form whereas India is performing better in last 2 years. Also, law of average says, Aussies can’t win WC this time! So it is a tie between my brain and heart! But to choose 1 winner: Australia…  (If this happens, will it be Sachin Tendulkar's last ODI match? I think, whichever is India's last match in this world cup, also will be Sachin's last ODI- well it's just my guess, not a wish, at all..!)

NZ vs SA:
While kiwis look not at their best, this is the best chance for South Africans not to choke this time and secure their birth in semifinals. The circumstances also suggest so. With SA are in good form, supported equally with batting, bowling and fielding they look balanced squad. And hence, my natural choice is: South Africa

Sri Lanka vs England:
With match to be played on home ground Colombo, Sri Lankans will even happier to face English team. England are not at their best as far as ODIs are concerned. This is proved by previous matches they played- no convincing wins and humiliating losses to Ireland and Bangladesh. But this also makes them the side which has absorbed the most pressure. So, Lankans have to be more careful. But finally, it will be Sri Lanka, I guess, will have last laugh.

So, Pakistan, Australia (while my heart punches my brain and says India), South Africa and Sri Lanks who I guess will make it to semi finals. Any guesses from your side?

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