RIVALS WARY OF T20 SELF-PRAISE

NOTTINGHAM - TEAM bosses at the World Twenty20 starting today are shying away from predicting the outcome because no one knows how the slam-bang version of the game will pan out.

NOTTINGHAM - TEAM bosses at the World Twenty20 starting today are shying away from predicting the outcome because no one knows how the slam-bang version of the game will pan out.

The usual noises of "we can win this one" or how confident a team is going into the tournament have not been heard - even though most of the 12 nations taking part secretly think they can go the distance.

Australia are not talking of the opposition players they will target like they do before most bilateral series and no captain is saying his route to the semifinals is panned out.

The most one hears is: "we can win - if we play to our potential". Others prefer: "we will take it one match at a time".

The clichés are pouring in thick and fast because cricket is an unpredictable sport. But Twenty20 cricket takes the definition to a new level.

India, who abhored the shortest version of the game so much they wanted nothing to do with a World Twenty20, went on to win the inaugural event in South Africa in 2007.

This under a new captain in Mahendra Singh Dhoni, without the services of senior pros such as Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly and after having played a solitary T20 international before that.

Deccan Chargers and Bangalore Royal Challengers contested the final of the Indian Premier League this year with almost the same teams that finished at the bottom of the table last year.

Even cricket's kings, Australia, were beaten by lowly Zimbabwe at the 2007 Worlds. - Sapa-AFP

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