Group B of ICC World Twenty20 2012 will see West Indies, the favourites for the trophy drawn with Australia and Ireland. West Indies is the strongest among the three in this pool.
Group B Preview
Group B Teams with seedings (Q1 denotes, qualifier 1). Top two progress to Super Eight
West Indies (B2)
Super Eight Groups: Group 1: A1, B2, C1, D2. Group 2: A2, B1, C2, D1
Note: If the third third team in the group knocks one of the top two seeded teams out, it will take the place of the team it replaced. (Example: If Ireland replace Australia, then they will be B1 in Super Eight)
Group B Fixtures
Wednesday September 19, 15:30 IST, Australia Vs Ireland, R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Saturday September 22, 19:30 IST, Australia Vs West Indies, R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Monday September 24, 19:30 IST, Ireland Vs West Indies, R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
West Indies, the main pre-tournament favourites to lift the trophy, headline Group B along with last edition's finalists Australia and qualifiers Ireland.
Australia have never been strong in T20s. In this group, West Indies are everyone's chosen team to top the league.
Australia (No. 9 in ICC T20 Rankings, finalists in 2010 edition)
Australia squad: George Bailey (Captain), David Warner, Shane Watson, Matthew Wade (wicketkeeper), David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Cameron White, Daniel Christian, Glenn Maxwell, Brad Hogg, Xavier Doherty, Clint McKay, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Ben Hilfenhaus.
Strengths: "W" power of (Shane) Watson and (David) Warner at the top of the batting order. If these two openers get going, no boundary is big and no bowling attack will be spared. Warner and Watson will shoulder Australia's responsibilities in this tournament.
The emergence of left-arm paceman Mitchell Starc is also a big plus point for the George Bailey-led team.
To add to these, Australia have always been a fine fielding unit.
Weaknesses: Too much dependent on Watson and Warner. Not so impressive record in T20s.
Key players: Watson, Warner, Glenn Maxwell, Michael Hussey, Starc, Brad Hogg.
West Indies (No. 4 in ICC T20 Rankings, yet to win World T20 trophy)
West Indies squad: Darren Sammy (captain), Dwayne Bravo, Samuel Badree, Darren Bravo, Johnson Charles, Fidel Edwards, Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Denesh Ramdin (wicketkeeper), Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith.
Strengths: The biggest asset of this team is Chris Gayle. His six-hitting prowess put him as the most dangerous T20 player in the short history of this format. Add to that, another big hitter in Kieron Pollard. Also Andre Russell, Dwayne Bravo and Marlon Samuels are know for their batting.
Apart from Gayle, West Indies' trump card is their mystery spinner Sunil Narine. His bag of tricks will certainly continue to bamboozle world's best batsmen.
Weaknesses: Too much dependence on Gayle-force. Bit of a concern in bowling apart from Narine.
Key players: Gayle, Narine, Pollard, Dwayne Bravo.
Ireland (No. 10 in ICC T20 Rankings, qualified for third time in World T20)
Ireland squad: William Porterfield (captain), Alex Cusack, George Dockrell, Trent Johnston, Nigel Jones, Ed Joyce, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O'Brien, Niall O'Brien (wicketkeeper), Boyd Rankin, Paul Stirling, Max Sorensen, Stuart Thompson, Andrew White, Gary Wilson.
Strengths: Big-hitting batsmen like Kevin O'Brien and Paul Stirling can stun any opposition on their day. Left-arm spin of George Dockrell who won the ICC Associate and Affiliate Cricketer of the Year award on Saturday night (September 15). The team has the ability to surprise.
Weaknesses: Not much experience at the international level. No big names. Absence of all-rounder John Mooney, who misses the tournament due to an injury.
Key players: Kevin O'Brien, George Dockrell.