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Pinch Hitter

The Super Sixes are here

The musical chair has entered the second stage. The top six teams are set to battle it out for four available chairs. Is it really the top six? Kenya in. Pakistan out. Zimbabwe stays. England goes. Is it surprising? Well, the only thing surprising to me in this whole thing is India going to the Super Sixes. Everything else is the way it had to be.

Australia (12 points). Without a doubt if there is one team in this World Cup which could have gone to the Super Sixes even before the tournament started, it was this country. The way they batted, bowled and fielded this team could have gone to the Super Sixes even if they had played with just 6 players.

Kenya (10 points). The dark horse of the line up, literally too! Admitted they came in because New Zealand refused to go there. Admitted they could well end up losing all their three Super Sixes games. But they did beat the 1996 champions Sri Lanka, didn't they? They did beat a Test-Status nation Bangladesh, haven't they? What if the Kiwis not going there gave them this opportunity? It is a Kiwi problem, not Kenya's. Imagine what Kenya's entry into Super Sixes is going to do to the development of cricket in Kenya. Not just Kenya, this is going to infuse new life into cricket in the whole of Africa. While ICC has wanted to globalize the game, Kenya has done it single handedly. Let's raise a toast to them gentlemen, no matter what happens to them at this stage. Hey, don't forget one thing. Just one victory here in Super Sixes and they are assured of a Semi-final berth. Remember, they have beaten India twice before. Scary huh?

India (8 points). I am surprised we have come this far. We were a team that couldn't last 50 overs against even Holland of all countries yet manage to enter the second stage. Yes, we played well against our unruly neighbour nation and against the Brits. Commendable indeed. Yet, let's not forget one thing. Except for Australia, no team in our group had a team worth mentioning. The funny thing is, just one victory in the Super Sixes and we are through to the semis. Some luck indeed!

Sri Lanka (7.5 points). Honestly speaking, this is the second surprise for me. The top order of theirs is an old age home. Except Murali and Vaas, other bowlers are picked to make up the remaining 30 and yet this team enters the second stage. And like India, they might need just one victory to enter the semis. 'Laughing Buddha' I suppose!

Zimbabwe (3.5 points). Whatever anyone says about Zimbabwe entering the second stage, heart of hearts, I was praying for their entry into Super Sixes. If not for anything, at least to watch Andy Flower one last time again. This Man Machine is sure to quit International cricket and I urge everyone to watch his last three innings. If there is one under-rated Master in the game of cricket today, it's this elder Flower. Go to (Andy Flower's record link) after you read this column just to surprise yourself about this man's achievement so far.

New Zealand (3 points). I wish these guys hadn't entered the Super Sixes. A decent team they are alright. But a team that refuses to go to a host nation to play a World Cup match in spite of repeated assurances deserves to be condemned harshly. You can't expect a toothless, spineless body like ICC to do that. I only wish they get thrashed in all their three games for their refusal to play in Kenya. What an irony it would be, if Kenya goes on to the semis and the Kiwis have to fly back home. Sweet revenge that.

The Remaining Six: It's a pity West Indies couldn't make it. Here was a team which started believing in itself, tried putting its best foot forward, yet got run over by the weather god's chariot. Better luck next time guys. What can we say about the hosts, South Africa? The weather might have screwed them too, but the way the played in this tournament, do you really believe they would have gone to the semis? I don't think so. The Brits though deserve to go back to Piccadilly, what after refusing to go to Zimbabwe. They insulted a host nation and the hosts in turn have grabbed their seat in the Super Sixes. Shame on you Brits. Our northern neighbour couldn't make it either, and are we happy about that or what? Didn't Jesus urge to love our neighbours? Well, what does Jesus know? He didn't have one like ours! Canada and Namibia might have lost out but they did win our hearts, didn't they. Hope ICC puts in place a development programme for them and who knows, they could well be good enough to enter Super Sixes in the next edition. Bangladesh deserves to be thrown out. It's a crime they managed Test Status. Not just Bangladesh Cricket Board, even the BCCI that supported their claim for Test Status needs to be fired, literally, if possible!

So, six teams now at the starting line. And, two distinct clusters evident among them. Australia. Sunshine. Others.

Do I need to say more?

Satheesh Krishnamurthy

The views expressed above are solely those of the particular club member and are carried as written, with only minor editing for grammar, to preserve the original voice. These contributed columns are solely personal opinion pieces and reflect only the feelings of the club member. Their being published on the Kirkets club site does not amount to an endorsement by either CricInfo or UB of the opinions expressed.

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