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Thread: Tough tests beckon teams in Super Eights

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    SB Addict gobind's Avatar
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    Default Tough tests beckon teams in Super Eights



    Tough tests beckon teams in Super Eights



    New Zealand take on Ireland in first match of second phase today




    The nonplussed faces of Australians, joyous explosion in the Netherlands and

    Ireland dug-outs, and some sparks from the Indian camp marked the first

    week of the World T20 Championship. But that might just be a prelude to the

    heart-stoppers of the Super Eight.


    While all the action in this elite stage will be keenly followed, there will be

    special attention on Group E, where defending champions India, strong

    contenders South Africa, hosts England and the unpredictable West Indies

    battle it out for two places in the semifinals.


    That the points earned from group stage matches will not be carried forward

    to the Super Eight makes it mandatory for teams to strive for victory at

    every opportunity, giving the round a more competitive look.


    The presence of some exciting players make this group a must-watch one.

    The premier batsmen from all teams have showed terrific form in the group

    matches. Yuvraj Singh dismantled Bangladesh with a brisk innings and Chris

    Gayle was at his marauding best while crushing the dreams of Australia.


    Kevin Pietersen was absent in the tournament opener against the

    Netherlands due to injury and England sorely missed him while crashing to one

    their most embarrassing defeats. Pietersen underlined his value with an

    aggressive half-century in the must-win tie against Pakistan and his form

    could be a big relief for England in the Super Eights.

    South Africa are entering the Super Eights with a clean record of two wins

    from as many matches. The form of AB de Villiers, who muscled his way to a

    fifty against Scotland, is a huge boost for the Proteas.


    However, there are already enough indications that bowlers, especially

    spinners, will not be lambs for slaughter. Pragyan Ojha, Harbhajan Singh and

    Ajantha Mendis have shown at various junctures that slow bowlers have a

    critical role to play in the ultra-abridged version.


    Sri Lankan skipper Kumar Sangakkara, whose team will be in Group F along

    with New Zealand, Ireland and Pakistan, believes spinners will play a huge

    role in the coming days.

    “If you take Twenty20 cricket in England, the successful bowlers have

    always been the spin bowlers. There’s a new age of cricket now in every

    country where the slower bowlers have an impact on the game,” Sangakkara

    said.


    Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who fielded both Ojha and Harbhajan

    against Bangladesh, echoed the Lankans views. “We have seen the quality of

    the spinners that every side has got and that is really amazing. In England

    the bowlers get some help and there could be a one-off venue where you

    won’t see much of the spinners coming into action. Still I feel all the world-

    class spinners will come into action in this tournament and they will put

    pressure on the batsmen,” Dhoni said.


    “In games played so far, we have seen spinners being successful, not only

    quality spinners but even part-timers to some extent, so they will have a

    bigger impact,” he detailed.


    There is not much to choose between the eight teams – Ireland’s ability to

    catch their opponents napping makes them tricky rivals – and as Dhoni

    emphasised, the margin between victory and defeat will be close one from

    now on.


    An outburst from batsmen like Gayle and Yuvraj or a magical over from

    Muttiah Muralitharan and Zaheer Khan could determine the fate of a match.


    “If any team takes the other team lightly in this format, it will be a big

    mistake. This is a very different format, there isn’t much difference between

    the teams in this format. It all depends on how they perform on the day,”

    Dhoni stressed.

    So be ready for some adrenaline racing moments!



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