Sunday, 15 January 2012

2012 Predictions

1) England will still be the number one test side in the world at the end of 2012
It's a tough year coming up for England, the team have made it to the top of the rankings without really being tested in sub-continental conditions. This year brings test series against Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and India away. If England win two out of those three series as well as their home series they should retain their number one spot and be on their way to becoming the dominant team of their era. I fully expect all of this to happen.

2) Pakistan to overtake India as the top Asian test team
I've got a blog-post all about this lined up, so I'll put this in brief, Pakistan's bowling attack is far superior to India's and their batting is better than it has been for years. Misbah's calm captaincy means that they've got a good chance of continuing their success, and an implosion looks unlikely for the moment.

3) Pakistan v England series to end 1-1
England have been sweeping all before them in Test cricket, but Pakistan are a good team and have more experience of these conditions. I expect a close fought series with all three tests being interesting games and both teams coming out of it with their reputations enhanced.

4) World T20 to be won by Australia
This prediction has no kind of logical basis behind it, but I just fancy an Austalian team with Warner, Watson and an array of decent new fast bowlers has a good chance to become the best T20 team in the world.

5) Australia to end the year at No.2 in the Test rankings
Australia had reached their nadir, last winter's Ashes defeat then the 21-9 at Cape Town was about the lowest possible for them to go. The only way has been up since, with series wins in Sri Lanka, a creditable draw in South Africa and a comprehensive thrashing of India at home. Expect this rise to continue

6) County Championship and T20 to be won by Somerset
If they win the T20 I fully expect Somerset to go on and win the County Championship. The logic behind this is sound, if they finally get a competition win they can dominate. The addition of Vernon Philander for at least part of the summer and Chris Gayle for the T20 means they can be a truly dominant team if they shrug off their 'chokers' tag.

7) Sri Lanka continue to sink towards West Indies and Bangladesh
In the ODI and T20 formats Sri Lanka are just about decent enough to give most teams a game, but going into the Test format without Malinga, and Ajantha Mendis' continuing decline, they simply don't have the bowling attack to bowl any team out twice. Fluked into a win against South Africa, and fluky wins are about all they can hope for until they find a bowling attack. 

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