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Damien Fleming - Swinging It Right

India, Australia and South Africa are almost inseparable at this stage, writes Fleming



Tuesday, June 02, 2022
3-way battle


Our Guest columnist, former Australian speedster Damien Fleming has done the proverbial crystal ball gazing and has come up with Australia, India and South Africa as the top contenders for the forthcoming ICC T20 World Cup.

Here's what he has to say about the three teams.

Australia
Watch out for the Aussies when they haven't won a certain tournament like the T20 World Cup. It's the one piece of silverware that isn't in the showpiece cupboard back home. The team has gone for a more experienced line up than other teams. With the greats like Ponting, Hussey, Clarke, Symonds, Johnson and Lee in the team, the Aussies will make it to at least the semis.

Key Player to watch: Mitchell Johnson
The left-arm speedster has matured immensely in the last 12 months, jumping from borderline fast bowler to number one quick in all forms and also making valuable contributions with his bat lower down the order. He maybe used as a pinch hitter in the tournament as well. I feel Johnson is seriously fast and bowls a high percentage of wicket-taking balls.

Surprise package: David Warner
This nuggety left hander only has one first class game to his name but anyone who saw him smash Steyn and co for 80 off 43 balls in his T20 debut will know he is a serious talent.

India
They are the reigning champs of the T20 cricket and have plenty of explosive batsmen with Sehwag and Gambhir at the top as openers. The team has two of the best 22-year- old batsmen in the world in Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma.
India probably has the coolest captain in MS Dhoni, who is also a dangerous hitter. Yuvraj showed last time what a dangerous six-swatter he is.

Experience of Zaheer, pace and bounce of Ishant Sharma and swing bowling of RP singh and Irfan Pathan makes for a potent bowling line-up. Their spin department is strong with Harbhajan and the king of IPL-2 Pragyan Ojha.
India is a serious contender to win back to back T20 World Cups.

Key Player to watch: Rohit Sharma
The young lad has silky skills with the bat whether driving down the ground or pulling square with power and is proving to be a great finisher. To top that he bowls crafty off spin and captured 11 wickets, including a hattrick in the recent IPL-2.

Surprise package: RP Singh
The bowler from UP is a beautiful left arm swing bowler, who could be a trump card in English conditions. He also has learnt to bowl skilfully at the death.

South Africa


South Africa's Graeme Smith leaves the field after being dismissed against Pakistan during a warm up match at Trent Bridge in Nottingham. © AFP
The team has an awesome batting line-up in Graeme Smith, Herschelle Gibbs, JP Duminy, AB De Villiers and Jacques Kallis. Moreover, they have Mark Boucher and Albie Morkel down the order. As always, fielding will be their strength. In Dale Steyn South Africa has an excellent strike bowler who has a deadly outswinger. Johan Botha is a clever spinner who has both flight and change of pace. The bowlers need to bowl in a pack and to do this they need to get the best out of their support quicks like Morne Morkel and Parnell.

Key Player to watch: Albie Morkel
Brings back memories or nightmares depending on which side of the fence you sit of the great Lance Klusener when he was in full flight. Combine small grounds and his powerful left-handed hitting means danger for all bowlers.
He is also handy with the ball, as he has both variety and pace.

Surprise package: Roelof van der Merwe
A young man, who seems suited to T20 cricket, and hits the ball hard. He also bowls handy slow left-arm orthodox.


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