I don't think I've ever followed warm-up games as closely as I've followed the games this time around.
But then to be fair I suppose that would be because sites that gave updates and tracked the scores did not exist. Nor did I actually ever worry too much about the progress of the other teams unless the match really counted.
However years later, after much disillusionment from the team that I follow, I have grown to appreciate the other teams as well. Probably more so than the team that I wish would always perform to their potential.
The warm-up games were very interesting indeed. Although most of them were one-sided, I for one was fascinated by the implications of these games. Here are my rankings based on the teams' performance in the warm up games thus far.
The Performers so far
India (W2 - L0)
Australia (W2 - L0)
Pakistan (W2 - L0)
Bangladesh (W2 - L0)
For the Aussies it was business as usual as they killed their opponents. However they did not bowl out an under-strength Zimbabwe team so they could have worries with their bowling.
India had a very strong showing in both matches and a ruthlessness that every Indian fan will be hoping will continue into the World Cup when it actually counts.
Pakistani fans had some very pleasant news as their team won both their games in style. This team is severely depleted in the bowling dept but to their credit they out-bowled the fancied Saffers in Trinidad and coasted to a 7 wicket win!
Bangladesh has been the surprise of the tournament so far. They ambushed a surprised Kiwi team in their first game and were clinical in their second performance against the Scots. They look good to cause a major upset in the World cup by potentially looking to topple India and/or Sri Lanka and reach the Super 8.
England (W1 - L1)
New Zealand (W1 - L1)
Sri Lanka (W1 - L1)
South Africa (W1 - L1)
Ireland (W1 - L1)
All the teams above flattered to deceive in the warm up games. They won one game convincingly (generally against the minnows) and yet faltered against others.
New Zealand was shocked by an ebulient and confident Bangladesh in their first match. However they recovered well and bowled out a pre-tournament favorite for a semi-final spot to win their match against Sri Lanka. Lots of issues for the Kiwis to work out - especially with their bowling. The batting seems a little fragile as well as their match against the Bangladeshis showed.
South Africa was very disappointing in the warm up matches. They went in as the #1 team in the ICC rankings but did little to prove this. They were very shaky in their win against the Irish winning on their superior experience and crumbled against the Pakistanis. Their batting has been inadequate as their batsmen seem to be struggling to adapt to the pitches of the Carribean. They will need a much better showing to live up to their name. A super 8 spot looks guaranteed given the other teams in the group, but a semi-final spot looks very unlikely if they continue to play as they have so far.
Ireland could spring a surprise as well! They had a fabulous showing against the Saffers losing due to inexperience despite being on top almost throughout the game. They could a surprise Super 8 team as well!
Sri Lanka was ruthless against Scotland but disappointed against the Kiwis. Muralitharan has not hit the ground running yet and their batting collapsed against the Kiwis despite being in a good position to win the game.
Kenya (W1 - L1)
West Indies (W1 - L1)
Zimbabwe (W1 - L1)
None of the teams above were convincing in their victories and got thrashed in another game. West Indies is a surprising member of this group. Their fans hope that their capitulation against India was a bad day and that there will be no further repeats of such a performance.
Zimbabwe and Kenya can only hope that they do something special to beat their more fancied opponents. Both teams look unlikely to progress to the next round, but with some luck and the opponents having a bad day could play spoiler to a major team.
Just plain bad
Canada (W0 - L2)
Netherlands (W0 - L2)
Scotland (W0 - L2)
Bermuda (W0 - L2)
All the teams lived up to their names. They got beaten by the other teams quite badly and need a lot of luck to make a mark on this tournament.