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This, that and the other. Mostly the other
I hate to be the one to point this out to you, but there is a chance your magnificent sporting nation will not win the World Twenty20. Sorry to be the bearer of this news. But it is true. It doesn't matter if you support India, Australia or Afghanistan, the chance of losing is real.
Then there is also the chance that your team will go out early. Really early if you are Australia. So then what happens? Do you just follow the tournament like a conscientious objector, or do you get in the game and follow another team?
I can't help conscientious objectors, but for those who want to keep going in the World Twenty20, I have come up with a guide for picking your second favourite teams.
Minnows (Afghanistan, Ireland, Zimbabwe)
Pros: Minnows are cute, cuddly and fun to watch. Two of these countries have had a bit of a tough time of late, and so have Afghanistan. Ireland is perhaps the least talented team every time they step out in a tournament like this, but those pasty men sure know how to fight. Zimbabwe are reconstructing their team around the world's oldest cricketer, Ray Price. They have no seam bowlers but more spinners than a Bangladesh U-19 side. Afghanistan have had the quickest rise in cricket history. If they keep going at this rate the BCCI will have to schedule a World Test Championship against them next year.
Cons: None of them are going to win a game. You can't pick a second side that goes out of the tournament before your side does.
Pros: No Ricky Ponting. Dirty Dirk Nannes. You don't have to hate them at Twenty20, because they are rubbish at it.
Cons: They are so utterly rubbish at Twenty20 that they have barely turned up for the first two tournaments.
Pros: Unlike Pakistani cricketers they all look 10 years younger than the age they claim to be. Tamim Iqbal is the batting equivalent of going naked on a rollercoaster.
Cons: No matter how well they play they won't make the semis.
Pros: If you support them, Stuart Broad getting away with dodgy behaviour won't bother you as much.
Cons: Last time they lost to Holland. Do you really want your back-up side losing to a minnow?
Pros: Have all the weapons to win the whole tournament. Praveen Kumar pulls the best angry faces in world cricket.
Cons: Last time they turned up tired because they had just finished a whole IPL season, and this time… oh.
Pros: They are guaranteed to put in a good team effort and play above themselves. United, organised and well disciplined.
Cons: They still won't get past the semi-finals.
Pros: They managed to find 15 players who weren't suspended by the PCB. They did win the tournament last time.
Cons: Their captain handles captaincy and hunger badly.
Pros: Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn is a brutal combination.
Cons: South Africa's record at every international tournament since their re-admission.
Pros: They're probably your second favourite team anyway, because they are awesome.
Cons: Most of their line-up is in rubbish form and they are bringing some old politician dude on a fact-finding trip.
Pros: Sulieman Benn.
Cons: There are no cons, this is the West Indies. Even if they lose they will do so in a dramatic and humorous way. And if they win…
Jarrod Kimber, the mind responsible for cricketwithballs.com, is an Australian writer based in London. His new book is now on sale. Any or all quotes and facts in this article may be wholly or partly fictional (but you knew that already, didn't you?)
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