Saturday, 1 May 2010

Blind Patriotic Optimism at the World T20

Fans of the English football team will know the feeling. As the World Cup or European Championship approaches, confidence and belief grows in the England team. This is only heightened after a few easy victories in the opening stages, before we eventually crash out when we play our first big team.

As a football fan, this deluded confidence in the team is ingrained into me, and as such, I think that England will win the forthcoming World Cup in South Africa. And as a cricket fan, I also think England will win the current World T20.

Even though I could attribute my confidence to simply being English, I genuinely think England have a massive chance of winning out in the Caribbean. I look at the potentially explosive openers of Kieswetter and Lumb/Bopara; the canny middle order of Pietersen, Collingwood and Morgan; the all-rounders of Bresnan and Wright; the tight fast bowling of Anderson, Broad and Sidebottom; and the spin of Swann and Yardy. Individually, only Pietersen would get into a World Eleven, but as a collective team, there are very few flaws. As a batting line up, I don't think there are any teams in the West Indies who are better, and the bowling of Anderson, Broad and Swann (with back-up from the ever improving Bresnan, Wright and Yardy) has the ability to stifle any opposition. England bat deep, bowl well, and have the option of two or three spinners, which will probably be the key on the slow pitches used in the World T20.

On Twitter, I follow someone who gives cricket odds, who this morning made England 10.25 long-shots. This is surely fantastic odds for the team who will win the World T20, which I said via my Twitter. However, minutes after posting my support, notable Kiwi Iain O'Brien told me that New Zealand will win it, and that England have no chance. I suppose that blind patriotic optimism isn't just limited to the English.

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