Gloriously Unpredictable World Cup 2015

Asif Iqbal
By Asif Iqbal February 4, 2015 19:15

Gloriously Unpredictable World Cup 2015

The oldest truism about the one-day game is that anything can happen and that is valid even in the 2015 World Cup – but only up to a point. While anything can happen in an individual game, to win a tournament a team has to win a series of matches and ‘anything’ rarely happens over a series of matches. If it did, most cricket pundits would be out of a job.

The World Cup has evinced great interest and nowhere more so than perhaps in the south Asian subcontinent. While it is certainly good to see that, one fears that for most south Asian fans, this time around it might end in tears. For the truth is that given the performance of the various contesting teams over the past couple of months or so, particularly their performances in Australia and New Zealand where the World Cup is being played, it has to be said that out of the three top teams in most people’s books, not one is from the subcontinent.

South Africa has played the most consistently brilliant cricket over the past couple of months, as have Australia and New Zealand, at least in the one-day format. Australia has outclassed India while New Zealand has done pretty much the same, first with Sri Lanka and more recently with Pakistan. It is not just the case that the subcontinental teams have lost, but that they have never really given the impression that they stood just as good a chance of winning as the opposition.

Wickets in both Australia and New Zealand will give extra bounce – they always have – and subcontinental batsmen have always had problems adjusting to that. This time around, it does appear as if it will be much different.

Purely from a Pakistani point of view, it has to be said that the performance of the side in the two warm-up games and then the two ODIs against New Zealand has been far from encouraging. In fact, after the second ODI in which Pakistan went down by 119 runs, Pakistan captain Misbah ul Haq said in his post match interview that the side had been wanting in all three departments of the game and with barely ten days left to go for the tournament, one wonders just how much of those deficiencies can be set right.

I personally would be extremely surprised if any one of South Africa, Australia or New Zealand did not make it to the semis. That said, there would still be one semi-final spot left and any one of the remaining five top teams could make it there, depending on the quarter-final draw and who hits form on that particular day. That said, gloriously unpredictable as the game is, this World Cup is perhaps less unpredictable than many of its predecessors..

Asif Iqbal, after learning cricket in Indian Hyderabad, moved to Pakistan and started his career as a bowler. But later he concentrated on batting that was known for impressive footwork and cavalier cover-driving. He also captained Pakistan cricket team in the first two World Cups.



Asif Iqbal
By Asif Iqbal February 4, 2015 19:15
  • A Parent

    India is and has always been a basterd country. It has always played a back stabbing role with Pakistan. It is a big pain and misery to all the sub-continent Muslims in specific. Now its time to kill the pain once and for all. InshaAllah it will be eliminated very soon.

    • asgher

      We as a country should develop ourselves in such a way that our national interests are guarded by the system not by the people. We have failed at this until now. We see many plots hatched against us by india and usually we are too late to react. This is where the improvement should be made. Our defense against any kind of aggression against Pakistan should be guided through a system.
      Let it be indian media proganda like Boats or Obama visit stories, or Mumbai attacks, or Building illegal Dams, or proxy wars in Afghanistan or BLA or a direct threat/attack on our borders. The system should dictate the our political leaders,our media,religious body, public, intelligence service and Army on what needs to be done.

      • A Parent

        100% agree

  • Yogesh Kumar

    great to read Mr.Asif Iqbal’s article. I agree with him this world cup seems highly unpredictable.

  • Reality Check

    I was watching ARY sports program today 6th February 2015 regarding the
    selection of Rahat Ali and specifically I would like to address the
    comments made by Asif Iqbal on this selection. Well, with due respect to
    Asif Iqbal no doubt he was a great cricketer, he should have pleased
    the bold step taken by PCB for a change specifically in this case rather
    than beating the drum for Sami, I have to be blunt, a Karachi lad and
    my dear Asif Iqbal is from Karachi, Sami have given so many chances in
    the past but he failed. As we all know most of the 30 members selected
    were not really on a merit basis but there was always an element of
    Quota system in this selection and Sami never came on a merit keeping in
    mind his performace in the past but on a quota system, that answers his
    objection. Then again question was asked about Bilawal Bhatti and now
    my question to him, does he recon that Bilawal Bhatti as a bowler fulfil
    all the requirements of a bowler in the modern era of cricket? The
    answer is No with capital N. Yes he has a very smooth running, delivery
    style is good, his ball skids that is all nothing more, not an
    impressive bowlers keeping in mind the wickets in Australia & New
    Zealand and his failure in this mini series justifies my answer. My Dear
    Asif Iqbal, probably I am of your age but always looks cricket in the
    modern way and things has been change so much since you and me used to
    play, hence next time you comment please just be neutral keeping the
    collars of your shirt down as hundreds of people will be watching you
    passing comments during the world cup games. I would like to mention
    here, even though I haven’t played international cricket but played top
    first class cricket not only in Pakistan but in UK as well plus blessed
    with a lot of knowledge in all fields of life hence I have made the
    above comments in line with my experience and the circumstances the
    Pakistan team is going through. I very much hope and pray that the
    Pakistani team does well in this forthcoming World Cup. Rahat Ali needs a
    lot of backup from players like you rather than negative approach.

  • Ahmed Karim

    Do you think Ajmal can now make it to world cup squad? should he be included? need your opinion.

  • Kashif Abbas

    Do you really think Pakistan is not a favourite team this time?


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