Why the odds are stacked in favour of the West Indies

World T20s have may be set a precedent, with those teams winning who peak at just the right time. An inauspicious start in the World Twenty20 is all that is required to win the title it seems. That has been the norm in all the World Cups to date - 2007 (in South Africa), 2009 (in England) and 2010 (in West Indies).

Reported by: Sumit Kapur
Last updated on Sunday, 07 October, 2012 12:22 IST
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World T20s have may be set a precedent, with those teams winning who peak at just the right time. An inauspicious start in the World Twenty20 is all that is required to win the title it seems. That has been the norm in all the World Cups to date - 2007 (in South Africa), 2009 (in England) and 2010 (in West Indies).

A counter-argument could be that even other teams might have faced losses and did not go on to win the World Cups, which might be true, but right now the focus is solely on the champions.

2007 - The Indian dream

The eventual champions India were paired in Group D along with arch-rivals Pakistan and Scotland for the initial phase of the tournament. Pakistan had already romped home against Scotland when India was scheduled to play the 7th match of the World T20.

The only action that the India and Scotland match saw was the coin being tossed high in the air.

The inexperienced Men in Blue, at the time, then played Pakistan in a crucial encounter at Durban. All Indian fans will fondly remember that game which ended in a tie. Some non-sensical strategy by Pakistan gave India an easy win in the super-over (the bowling version back then).

India then lost narrowly to perennial big-stage nemesis New Zealand in their first super-eight fixture before coming back to win all their remaining matches and with it the World Cup.

So, not exactly a great tournament to begin with but turned out to be just awesome at the end.

2009 - The Men in Green surprise

Pakistan were pitted against England and Netherlands in the groups and promptly lost out in their first match to England, and badly at that. A jolt to begin the campaign.

They then had an easy one against the Netherlands to erase any memories of the 2007 50-over World Cup.

Pakistan too went on to lose their first super-eight match to Sri Lanka before coming back and winning rest of their ties and with the the 2009 edition of the World T20.

2010 - And finally the Barmy Army delivers

England too began on an inauspicious note and lost out in the most disappointing fashion (Duckworth-Lewis method, 1 ball remaining) to West Indies in their first group match.

Their match against Ireland was then washed out and they just tipped Ireland on a better run-rate.

But the side, ably led by Paul Collingwood, never let that phase hamper in the quest for the trophy. They beat Pakistan, South Africa, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and eventually Australia to lift the coveted cup, their first World Cup in any format ever.

2012 - The Calypso 'beats' all

Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels did fire for the West Indies but a rain-marred group game against Australia was won by the team from Down Under.

The Caribbean lads then played Irish boys for a place in the super-eights. That match was washed out after the first innings. West Indies qualified on better run-rate. Any coincidences spotted here?

In the super-eights, West Indies beat England convincingly but lost out badly to hosts Sri Lanka.

In their last and all-important fixture against New Zealand, with whom they had tied in two T20 internationals previously, they just about managed another before pipping the Kiwis in a super-over.

Since then, they have promptly dispatched the Aussies in the semis and are looking to repeat World Twenty20 history with a win over local favourites.

Sri Lanka, on the other hand, did lose unluckily to South Africa in group stages, but have won it all since then.

So, will it be West Indies this time? History says yes, form may be no, heart says yes, the mind nay be no, Chris Gayle says yes, Sri Lanka say no.

Story first published on: Sunday, 07 October 2012 11:02 IST

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