Cricket Champions Trophy – Pakistan the favorites?
June 5, 2013 Leave a comment
Another major ICC tournament is up for grabs and yet again, Pakistan is ranked among the favorites to lift it.
Since crashing out of the World Cup 2007 in the first round, Pakistan has shown remarkable consistency by reaching at least the semi-final stages of all the six major ICC tournaments to date. On their way, they were able to make it to the final of two (winning one of them, World T20 2009 in England) and semi-finalist in the other four. This is remarkable, considering they are the only team to have played so many semi-finals or finals so far. The other team that comes close is Sri Lanka with 5 such appearances since 2007 World Cup Final. However, Sri Lanka, on the other hand, has not won anything yet, even though they were in the finals four times.
In all the semi-finals and finals that Pakistan lost, they were not the one-sided affairs (unlike the 1999 World Cup Final when Pakistan catapulted to Australia at Lords). Rather, they were hard fought battles pushing the opponent to the brink. It only shows their determination not to give up, no matter what the odds.
In the current tournament, their batting is a bit brittle, which can collapse at any given moment to even the feeblest bowling attack. But their bowling, as usual, is solid and with enough variation up their sleeve to keep their opponents in check.
If I were to choose pre-tournament finalists, I would rate Sri Lanka, Pakistan, South Africa and New Zealand as the most likely teams to make it to the semi-final stages of the tournament. And my favorite to go on would be New Zealand and Pakistan.
So let the games begin and let the new ICC Champion be crowned. My prayers go out to Pakistan Cricket Team.