Saturday, September 26, 2009

Who are Progressing to Semi Final of ICC Champions Trophy 2009?

ICC Champions Trophy 2009 is now going on in South Africa with full swing. You know that top 8 test-playing countries are participating in the tournament. At this moment, the tournament is at the group stage. Two teams from each of the two groups will progress into the semi final of the Champions Trophy 2009 on the basis of points achieved through the group stage games. Now, the question is who are going to make it to the last four of the tournament.

Group A includes India, Pakistan, West Indies and Australia, while group B incorporates England, South Africa, Sri Lanka and New Zealand. You see all the teams have the quality to win the tournament, but as per the tournament format, four teams will be eliminated from the group stage and four will progress.

I think, South Africa and Sri Lanka will get into the semi final from Group B. Well, by saying this, I am not underrating the quality of New Zealand and England. The fact is that South Africa and Sri Lanka have the advantage to make it to the semi final. South Africa is the home side and they have a very strong line up in the presence of a number of quality all roudners. The Protease has won one of their 2 matches, and has the England match in hand. Considering the team strength, I think, South Africa is going to win over the English side, even though the English has got off to a good start in the tournament with a 6-wicket victory over Sri Lanka. A victory over England would almost ensure their semi final progress.

For Sri Lanka, they have a match left too and that is against the New Zealand. Considering New Zealand’s problem against Sri Lanka in their recent tour make me guess that Sri Lanka is going to win it. Moreover, Sri Lanka has a very good run rate and I think, a victory over the Kiwis will see them through to the semi final. Now, if England wins over the Kiwis, then either South Africa or England will go into the next stage on the basis of run rate. Overall, I mind says that South Africa and Sri Lanka are going to the semi final from this group.

Group A is more competitive with India, Pakistan and Australia all aspiring to get into the semi final. Australia is he defending world champion as well as the reigning title holder of Champions Trophy. Still, I believe that India and Pakistan are going to make it to the semi final from Group A. West Indies has no hope left after suffering two defeats. So, the competition is now within three teams. It is pretty much understandable that India will win over West Indies, if noting special happens.

Pakistan has a very good squad. India may have come with a depleted squad, but I believe they still have the quality to reach the last four. Australia may have had a tremendous series over England, but I do not believe that the Aussies faced the best of England.

So, my bet is on India and Pakistan from Group A and South Africa and Sri Lanka from Group B. What do you think about it?

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