Friday, 10 January 2014

2015 World Cup Qualifier: Preview Group A

This World Cup qualifier would probably be one of the most interesting and critical for the game of cricket. On one side we have traditional teams like Netherlands, Scotland, Canada and Kenya fighting hard for their spots, a resurgent UAE and Namibia fighting to claim back their glory days and upcoming and emerging nations of Nepal and PNG dedicated and fighting to replace these nations. This will without doubt be a very hard fought tournament with deciding the 2 finalist is a very difficult task. It will not be unlikely that experts can pick two teams and in the end those teams end up in bottom 5.
The fight for the 2 spots will be a tough one. Picking 2 teams is very difficult

In the World Cup Qualifier the teams are divided into 2 groups of 5 teams each. From these groups 3 teams will go into Super Six. In Super Six the 3 teams from each group will carry the points of matches against the 2 teams from the group. Finally from Super Six the top 2 teams will go into finals and reach the World Cup.

Teams:- Canada, Hong Kong, Nepal, Scotland & United Arab Emirates

ICC Seeding
1. UAE
2. Scotland
3. Canada
4. Hong Kong
5. Nepal

1. UAE
UAE have been very impressive lately especially in the 2011-13 ICC WORLD CRICKET LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP. They just missed out on qualification and came third in the tournament. They also proved themselves again when they qualified for the 2014 World Twenty20. Their batting is top class along with their deadly spinners.
Shaiman Anwar will be the key player UAE will be relying upon

However in NZ they would have to overcome many challenges to keep up the performances.The are an aging team and the fast bowlers are not fast enough. This could be their Achilles heal.

Key Player:- Shaiman Anwar

Expected Verdict:- Should make it into the Super Sixes

2. Scotland
They are the hot favorites for the tournament. They would be most equipped to deal with the situation as the conditions in NZ are almost similar to conditions in Scotland. They have a solid batting line up lead by players like Calum MacLeod, Kyle Coetzer. The pace battery is equally impressive with a young line up consisting of Safyaan Sharif, Gourdon Goudie.
No team can ignore Calum MacLeod who is in super form

Key Player:- Calum MacLeod

Expected Verdict:- Winner or Runners Up

3. Canada
Canada are a team which have seen a great downfall. They finished a poor 12th out of 16 teams in World T20 Qualifer. On top of that they had a major loss when their ace captain Ashish Bagai announced his retirement after being troubled by politics going on in Cricket Canada. However even with the reduced line up they are not a team to be ignored. They are known to make a comeback in critical tournament when it is a matter of life or death for them. They still have some good batsman like Gunasekera, Nitish Kumar who can single-handily destroy any bowling lineup on their day. They also have some decent bowlers like Harvir Baidwan. However overall Canada would have to put a super effort and brilliantly lead to make a come back
Gunasekara:- He has a good technique and destroy any lineup on any day
Key Player:- Ruvindu Gunasekera

Expected Verdict:- Not expected to make it to Super Sixes

4. Hong Kong
They have been a surprise package for many especially when they made it into 2014 World Twenty20, but few people know that they are a young team and unlike the names suggest it is a team that has been built from junior levels. They have some technically some very good players in both bowling and batting. The team is a good mixture of youth and experience. 
Irfan Ahmed:- He is both deadly with bat and bowl and is a one man army
Despite all the goodies the team is yet to prove itself in ODI and that too in conditions of NZ. The absence of expierenced player Munir Dar will also hurt them a lot. It will be challenging for the team

 Key Player:- Irfan Ahmed

Expected Verdict:-  Not expected to make it to Super Sixes

5. Nepal
They are a resurgent team filled with the belief that they should be playing with better of the teams. They surprised many with their performance in World T20 Qualifier where they came third. Lead by a tactical coach and cool captain the team is hoping to make history. Paras Khadka is the traditional batting powerhouse of the team but players like Sharad Vekaswar have shown their worth in World T20 Qualifier. Basant Regmi is a brilliant all rounder who has impressed many and the conditions in NZ surely support his spin style. They have a young pace lineup consisting of Avinash Karn and Sompal Kami who can be a real surprise package
Having said all that the batting still suffers against quality fast bowling and to prove themselves they will have to overcome this weakness. The pace department has also been traditionally below par and this time even though they have potential but it is a young and inexperienced lineup.  
Paras Khadka: He is Mr Dependable for the team who can contribute both with Bat and Bowl
 Key Player:- Paras Khadka

Expected Verdict:- Though most critics have rated them lowly but I will give them a chance to make into Super Sixes. Whether they will make into Finals will depend upon two game for them- against Scotland and Netherlands

So overall this will be a keenly contested group and the predictions made now can be easily thrown out of window. That is the level of competition. It will be an interesting tournament and really looking forward to it.  

1 comment:

  1. I wonder how critics rate them low.That may probably because of their low position in WCL Division and others having a WCL Champonship exposure which Nepal doesnt have. With Afghanistan and Ireland already qualified, one can easily put them in top 4 probable list for their current form and confidence.