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World T20 2014 Bangladesh: Sri Lanka and group opponents preview

SRI LANKA

Sri Lanka the last editions runners up go into the tournament as one of the favorites to win the tournament .What sri lanka has going for them is their familiarity with the Bangladesh conditions having been playing there for close to two months Lankans will hit the ground sprinting with the momentum of being the Asia cup champions and not having lost in Bangladesh from the beginning of the year.

Strengths — Variety in bowling is sri lanka’s main strength Malinga,Mendis,Senanayake are well adapt at keeping the runs down and picking up wickets.Angelo Matthews , Thisara Perera & youngster chaturanga de silva will also provide good support. There is also rangana herath, kulasekara, seekuge prasaana and Suranga lakmal. The Lankan captain will be spoilt for choice in the bowling department.

Weaknesses — The form of captain Dinesh chandimal will be a concern for the Sri Lankans.Mahela Jayawardena last played a T20 in November.Thilakaratne Dilshan will be coming in without any match practice and low on form.Much will depend on the young shoulders of Kusal janith and the finishing ability of Anjelo Matthews .Sangakkara will provide the stabilizing effect. Sri lanka are very lucky to be facing England,New Zealand ,South Africa.

SOUTH AFRICA

South Africa will come into the tournament with little match practice with rain affecting their T20 series with Australia.South Africa the constant underachievers will look for a change in fortunes under the leadership of Faf du Plessis.They are not helped or helped, depending on the way you look at things by playing their first match against Sri lanka.

Strengths — Batting will be key for SA, AB devilliers will be the key for South Africa he will dictate the pace of their batting innings.Du plessis and Amla will provide stable support ,they will be hoping the late order fireworks will come from David miller.

Weaknesses — The ability to ignore the chocker tag,which is unfairly placed on them. This is a different generation.Much will depend on their ability to play spin bowling. South Africa’s slow bowling resources are weak. Considering Imran tahir can get into a T20 world cup squad explains all you need to know about their spin bowling resources.South Africa have gone with tried and tested players like Duminy, Albie morkel, tsotsobe & parnell with no surprise players hard to see them going far in the tournament.

ENGLAND

It’s very hard to gauge England they have a good mix of individual T20 players. Who have been successful indifferent T20 leagues around the world. The question is can they all come together to form a formidable unit. They will look to send a message to the rest of the cricketing world who were bemused by the whole KP affair that they are fine without Kevin pieterson.

Strengths — Lookout for the opening partnership of Hales and Lumb who have different hitting areas compared to your normal opening batsmen. Eoin Morgan is accepted around the world as one of the best T20 players.

Weaknesses — The English always come with inflated ego’s about their capabilities. It will be interesting to see if they will adapt to pitch condition and match conditions or just follow a pre defined game plan. Also they don’t have any slow bowlers of note and international experience they’ll be relying on the part time ability of ravi bopara and joe root too much.Look out for those Dernbach slower balls in the stands.

NEW ZEALAND

Every one’s second favorite team, they have a long tradition of punching above their weight in ICC events. This time they come in with different expectations than they accustomed to. People expect them to reach the semi final and quite possibly win the whole thing. I’m personally looking forward to see how they handle the change in expectations.

Strengths — The high number of all rounders they can pack into the team is a big bonus which places them above most teams. Everyone will be looking forward to seeing how Corey Anderson handles the pressure of a big ICC event where every bowler he faces will bring something different .Can he be effective abroad as he has been at home. Colin Munro and Jimmy Neesham are also guys who can be destructive as Anderson. The cricketing community hasn’t seen much of them. Many teams will be caught out by how good New Zealand are if they only focus on the big players like Taylor, B.MuCullum, Southee and Mills. New Zealand also have the spinners to make use of the conditions Nathan McCullum is very good at restricting the opposition batsmen Ronnie hira does the same.

Weaknesses — New Zeland have the whole package to go all the way, Much will depend on the way they handle the pressure of being one of the favorites.

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