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Who will win this year’s World Cup?

The tournament is going to be hard fought. Both groups are analysed briefly below with predictions at the end of the article; 

 

GROUP A


Present form suggests Sri Lanka are the team that has the best chance of winning the title from the sub-continent region. They’re experienced batting line up will handle the pressure situations. They have had a number of injury concerns with their bowling attack which may prove pivotal in the early games, but they only need to do enough to get into the quarters, where they need to be at their best. They have a well balanced team with the likes of Dilshan, Perera and Matthews which allows them to have the luxury of an extended batting line up.

 

England are not a settled unit with changing captains in the last six months. They are in a transition phase, trying to build a core group that will bring them success through the next decade. They play Australia and New Zealand in their first two games of the tournament and if there is a loss to both, the pressure is on. Their fourth match against Sri Lanka in New Zealand will then be a must-win scenario because a loss in this game will cause a reaction of clenching orifices, as they face Bangladesh in their fifth game - the potential upset fixture in the tournament. They will require Broad to get back to his best form early, and their middle order of Bopara and Morgan must stand up and perform.

 

New Zealand are playing exceptional cricket at the moment and look as though they are a team that are enjoying each other’s success. This is the country’s biggest opportunity to win a World Cup. Vettori and Nathan McCallum coming in at 8 and 9 adds depth to a solid batting line up. Their bowling is workman like, knowing their limitations, executing skills and delivering on robust plans.

 

Australia are also playing noteworthy cricket at present, which stands them as pre-tournament favourites. The only concerns are Faulkner, Marsh, Watson and Clarke getting through the tournament without injury. Clarke can be covered, but if Australia can’t play two of the three all-rounders then their attacking style and willingness to take on opposition bowlers from start to finish of an innings will be tested.  The Australian Physio Alex Kontouris will need an offsider.

 

Bangladesh won’t win the World Cup, but they won’t be easy beats. They have the opportunity to progress to the quarter finals if they plan well against opposition teams and execute their skills well. They have got to have a mentality of never giving up because if they put the higher ranked counter parts on the back foot early in a contest, and maintain that pressure throughout the match, it’s amazing how tension can cause the wheels to drop off in an opponent who pencilled in a certain victory.

 

I hope Afghanistan and Scotland will be competitive. It is important for our game to expand and what I hope to see from these two teams is improvement from previous years making a statement to the hierarchy of the ICC that associate nations are improving, and are alive and well. Play with enthusiasm and belief boys.

 

 

GROUP B

 

Pakistan won the last World Cup held on Australian and New Zealand soil in 1992, but I can’t see the same success in 2015. In the last four 50 Over Series, Pakistan have lost convincingly to New Zealand, Australia and Sri Lanka. Although they have beaten England and Bangladesh at the SCG in the warm up fixtures, it seems when put under pressure they will wilt. Their batting will rely too heavily on the experience of Younis Khan and Mishah-ul-Haq. Ajmalitis is affecting their bowling department, they have formulated a unit without the gifted off-spinner.   

 

India are the most talented team on paper but it astounds me how they have not had any success on Australian soil this summer. Having been away from home for a couple of months now, the energy in the camp must be at an all-time low now.  If India are going to win back-to-back titles, their coaching staff have to create atmosphere and environment for players to express themselves and be hungry. Their leaders will have to be the yardstick in creating an attitude amongst the group that they can win in any conditions they face. Positive and believable “Temperament” is the key.

 

West Indies have been inconsistent in the longer forms of the game and issues in the boardroom are affecting cohesiveness amongst the squad. I hope they have come to play and entertain us with their calypso flare, making the viewing captivating at the very least.  

 

South Africa are the team that could finally dismantle the choking tag this tournament.  They have fire-power in both the batting and bowling departments to destroy any opponent. Their only issue is the absence of a quality all-rounder and if early wickets are lost, the depth of their batting could be exposed. Other batsmen will have to stand up to take the pressure off Amla and De Villiers, especially when the tournament flows past the group stages.

 

If the West Indies can’t find some consistency don’t be surprised if Zimbabwe or Ireland sneak through an unwanted crevasse to make their way into a World Cup Quarter Final.

 

All I can say about the United Arab Emirates is have a great experience in the World Cup and hope to see them scare a couple of teams. Even though they probably won’t win a game, the airline will get extra mileage.

 

 

HOGGS PREDICTION

 

Quarter Finalists in order after group stage...


                Group A - Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh

             Group BSouth Africa, India, Pakistan  and West Indies


1st QF     Australia v West Indies

2nd QF    New Zealand v Pakistan

3rd QF    Sri Lanka v India

4th QF    Bangladesh v South Africa

 

Semi Finalist

                Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and India


Winner

Very hard choice, I love unpredictability. India will make a shock recovery from their debacle of a tour down under. 

 


Written by Brad Hogg the Clairvoyant keeping your future on the wrong path.

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