Smith predicts an "open", high-scoring World Cup

Johannesburg, Feb 7 (PTI) South Africa captain GraemeSmith feels that the upcoming ICC cricket World Cup will be an"open" tournament with the placid sub-continent pitchesoffering some exciting high-scoring encounters.

Emphasing that the importance of batting power-play inthe mega-event, Smith said a good finishing in both thebatting as well as bowling departments will be key to successin the tournament starting on February 19 in Dhaka.

"Conditions are going to be quite batter-friendly soscores might be quite high. I think we have a solid top fiveand top six batting line-up. Finishing, with bat and ball, issomething we need to be really strong on. I think that''s goingto be crucial throughout the World Cup," Smith told the weekly''Sunday Independent'' before departing for the World Cup to beco-hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

"Powerplay three, when that''s taken and how that''s usedand how''s its managed with both bat and ball is also going tobe important.

"For me, power-play three is not so much about when youtake it, but how you play it, the execution of it. We''vespoken a lot about it and when to take it. I personally wouldlike to take it when guys are in and there''s going to be agood partnership going, rather than when guys are juststarting out at the crease," he added.

Refusing to predict a winner, the South Africa skipperconceded that it would be a "very open World Cup".

"It is a very open World Cup. England have some goodplayers who will be fit for the World Cup. Australia arealways very solid performers in this form of the game. Fatiguefor the two of them might be an issue. I think England arehome for three days before they travel to India for the WorldCup," Smith said.

"The sub-continent teams are always wily and street smartin their own conditions. They will always be a factor.

Bangladesh will pull off a few surprises in front of all theirfans," he added.

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