- England recovered well from their shock defeat to the Netherlands in the tournament opener to record a relatively convincing win over Pakistan, but doubts remain over the side’s ability to push on and score big if the top order fails. It would be a surprise if the hosts were to make it as far as the semi-finals.
- India, the reigning World Champions in this format, haven’t been really tested yet, but the absence of Sehwag will be keenly felt, even if more for the psychological impact he has than on the basis of his Twenty20 form.
- South Africa looked very strong as they thrashed the Scotland team that caused New Zealand such trouble, and the side is packed with proven performers who should be able to make it through to the next stage. The match against England will have many observers fascinated by the ongoing ‘tension’ between Graeme Smith and Kevin Pietersen, whatever the former may say about the current situation.
- The West Indies may have hammered Australia, but that victory owed a lot more to Chris Gayle’s power-hitting than it did to competent fielding from the team at large. Conceding as many runs as the side has recently probably won’t see them progress any further, but such is Gayle’s talent that few totals are unequivocally out of reach if the Windies bat second.
- Ireland have exceeded many expectations by reaching this stage, and the lone Associate side remaining in the competition will need more than a little luck to progress any further. The match against Pakistan, though is bound to rekindle memories of 2007, and there’s still a chance of another upset or two being sprung.
- New Zealand haven’t shown as much promise in their two group matches as I thought they might, but the quality of Vettori, McCullum, Oram and Taylor (if all are fit at the same time) will raise hopes of a Semi Final place.
- Pakistan‘s defeat against England seemed to galvanise the side, although a comfortable victory over the Netherlands was always the most likely outcome. The spinners could come into their own at this stage, particularly against a side batting second under pressure, but the batting order may need a little reorganisation in the event of a run-chase.
- Sri Lanka have looked good so far, with the mix of youth (Mendis still has a ridculously low bowling average) and experience (Sanath Jayasuriya is still going strong less than two weeks shy of his 40th birthday) paying dividends. I wouldn’t bet against them making the final.