Hello World…So, I have been away from cricket for a few days attending to non-cricket matters; and when I return, I see that apart from a Sehwag thumping, a Lankan mauling and a couple of other Associates-bashing matches, I didn’t miss much.
Anyway, I was checking my blog stats when I was stunned to see that my World Cup preview post had got a total of 3,844 hits since it was published on Feb 2, and that the highest number (765) was on the day before the World Cup opener. Still, only about 196 people voted in the opinion poll as to who will lift the trophy on April 2, and this is what I learnt.
- India lead the way, with 44 percent believing that they will win; I suspect this is more out of optimism than anything else.
- There is a broad consensus that a subcontinent team will lift the trophy, as the 2nd, 3rd and 4th placed are Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
- Shockingly, South Africa only got 8 votes, which is a vast underestimation of their ability and overestimation of their choking skills.
- Australia and West Indies got three votes each, with England getting just two. When West Indies are given more of a chance to lift the trophy than England, there is something wrong somewhere.
- New Zealand got no takers, while there is at least one person who believes that any one of the associate nations can walk away with the trophy.
Anyway, the World Cup is just getting warmed up, and predictably it is the minnows who are facing most of the heat; but a week of interesting clashes is coming up – South Africa vs West Indies, Australia vs New Zealand, Sri Lanka vs Pakistan and India vs England. It will provide the earliest indicator of which teams are serious contenders for the title.