September 24, 2012, 06:41:10
The first round-robin phase of the 2012 Championships is rpidly nearing completion and the only seeded team that can still be eliminated theoretically from the next Round Robin Phase is the West Indies - that is if they lose against Ireland - very unlikely in any event.
The next round-robin phase will include the following teams"
Group A - India
Group B - England
I believe the A Group is much stronger than the B-Group. However, that being said two teams from each group will ultimately contest the semi-finals.
Summary of Games thus Far
Problem with Group B is that both England and to a slightly lesser extent SriLanka disgraced themselves in the first phase of round-robin play. The jury is out on the West Indies - but I believe they would come through to the next phase of the Championships. New Zealand - although losing to Pakistan - played relatively well.
I believe it is actually wrong to have the losing sides all in one group and the winners in another. Problem is that the organisers could not really foresee the outcome of the first round robin plase and based their seedings on the standings of the teams on present ratings of teams. Therefore numbers 1, 3, 5 and 7 were to be in one group and 2, 4, 6 and 8 being in the second group. Actually it is a very good format that ensures that all teams should in fact play each other at least once during the Championship.
Looking at the forthcoming games in 20:20 - I believe that SA has a very good chance to go through to the semis. They can beat the Australians - have little doubt about that one - their biggest threat in fact is India and Pakistan in Sub-Continent conditions.
On the other side the likely qualifiers for the semis seems to be Sri-Lanka and New Zealand. My observation is based on the extremely poor performance of England when facing spinners yesterday. There performance was in fact atrociously bad. New Zealand put up a brave battle against Pakistan and seems to like the conditions - which are very similar to those in New Zealand. Based on performances thus far - I believe England would lose to both New Zealand and Sri-Lanka and they may even lose against the West Indies.
The likely teams to go through to the semis are therefore to be the following:-
Group A : India and South Africa
Group B : SriLanka and New Zealand
Lets see whether may forecast is correct.