Blogs & Opinion


Bob Willis:

Most Popular Posts:

Opinion Archive:

Home comfort

'Sri Lanka's big-game experience can see them scoop T20 crown'

Bob Willis Posted 6th October 2012 view comments

The ICC World Twenty20 Final between Sri Lanka and West Indies should be a very competitive affair.

The two sides that have played the best cricket in the tournament have made it to the showpiece event and I think the experience their sets of players have gleaned from the IPL has borne fruit in Sri Lankan conditions.

Dilshan: part of an experienced Sri Lanka batting line-up

Dilshan: part of an experienced Sri Lanka batting line-up

There will be some very talented bowlers on show in Colombo, but I see this match being a showdown between Sri Lanka's batsmen's improvisation and West Indies' batsmen's brute force.

There is enormous pressure on host nation Sri Lanka and the country really expects but I think they have got the experience to absorb that now.

And in Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Lasith Malinga they have some truly-world class performers.

I see this match being a showdown between Sri Lanka's batsmen's improvisation and West Indies' batsmen's brute force.

Bob Willis
Quotes of the week

LIVE ON SKY SPORTS
ICC World T20 Final

Sri Lanka v West Indies
1.30pm, Sun, Sky Sports 2 HD
Watch on the move with Sky Go
How to remote record

The first three names I've just mentioned will be charged with leading their side's batting attack and I expect West Indies skipper Darren Sammy, who has come along tremendously as a tactical captain, to hit them with spin early, a ploy that worked against Australia in the semis.

Sammy will be hoping that forces the Sri Lankans to play some rash strokes but the home side are pretty adept at dealing with spin and the Windies leader will need other ideas up his sleeve just in case.

West Indies will, of course, look to Chris Gayle for inspiration, with the powerful opener having been in tremendous form in this tournament.

The Jamaican is very difficult to contain - he mishits the ball for four and six - but he has shown during this event that he can bat in a responsible way.

He now realises his importance to the side and tries to bat through the innings, rather than just smack a quick-fire thirty.

Ability

Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard are also impressive boundary getters but the man who plays that steady role in the middle order is Marlon Samuels.

The 31-year-old, whose spin bowling was utilised in the Super Over against New Zealand earlier in the tournament, is someone the flair players can bat around and dislodging early him will be crucial for Sri Lanka.

I would say Sri Lanka have the edge in the bowling department; Windies seamer Ravi Rampaul pops up with important wickets but he does not have the ability to bowl seriously fast yorkers at will like Malinga.

And while spinner Sunil Narine has bowled very well lately, Sri Lanka's twirlers, Ajantha Mendis and Rangana Herath, should be more potent on their home track.

Sri Lanka will, therefore, want the Colombo pitch to offer some spin assistance, though I'm not sure West Indies will care what strip they are batting on.

Their mantra is 'see ball, hit ball', and they did that with devastating effect against Australia; to score 200 in 20 overs against an international side is a phenomenal achievement.

However, home advantage, the experience of playing in big finals and the fact Gayle surely has to falter at some stage, should see Sri Lanka get over the line.

back to top

Other Cricket Experts:

Latest Posts in Cricket:

Mike Atherton

Fan favourite

Test newbie Jos Buttler's electric batting can re-energise English cricket supporters, says Mike Atherton. ...

Latest News RSS feeds

Late strikes boost England

England set India 445 to win and reduced them to 112-4 on a one-sided fourth day at the Ageas Bowl.

Saker hails bowlers’ attitude

David Saker reserved special praise for his bowlers as Alastair Cook’s men closed in on victory against India.

Kallis announces retirement

South Africa legend Jacques Kallis has announced his retirement from all formats of international cricket.

Royal London Cup - latest

Scorecard from Glamorgan v Notts in the 50-over competition

Jadeja appeal set for Friday

The ICC will hear an appeal by India's Ravindra Jadeja against a fine for breaching its code of conduct against England.

Features

Cricket Podcast: T3 D4

Cricket Podcast: T3 D4

Andrew Strauss discusses Cook's return to form and David Saker reflects on a fine day for England.

Cricket Podcast: T3 D3

Cricket Podcast: T3 D3

Shane Warne and Michael Holding say England must attack India to seize a stranglehold on this Test.

Cricket Podcast: T3 D2

Cricket Podcast: T3 D2

England batted too long at The Ageas, says Warney, who wants to see another Hussain-Strauss duel...