World Cup Holders Australia, having won 3 in a row and 4 overall have been the team to match up to for so long but now their reign seems threatened and their aura has diminished to negligible proportions. Not that they are a bad team but they are more easily beatable nowadays. An analogy is Federer in tennis – now the Djokovics and Murrays believe they can beat him regularly. South Africa and India definitely think they can beat the Aussies and so does England. But only fools write off the Aussies in any tournament. The have been the Bad Boys of cricket, in your face and in your ear. Sledging or Mental disintegration asSteve Waugh called it is their second nature and somehow though all teams have been doing it, it seems to be the Australians Intellectual(?) Property.
Fast Bowling: Brett Lee , Shaun Tait, Bollinger and Michael Johnson – an embarassment of riches and if you add the medium pace of Shane Watson and Hastings there is more than enough firepower.
Attitude and ODI Form: Australia are the No.1 ODI team in the world. They are coming on the back of a 6-1 pasting of England and have done well in the ODI series in India in 2010.Though they lost a couple of practice matches, to India and SA, their overall record the past couple of years is still good. They also have the attitude to prove a point – they are smarting under the Ashes defeat and want to show the world that they still are a power to reckon with. Ponting will lead the side and he will not take a backward step – ever.
Fielding – Australia have one of the most competent fielding units at present. Everybody is good and has a strong arm. They can create chances where none exist.
Batting: The batting has been surprisingly below par of late. Technically no one seems quite surefooted. The loss of Michael Hussey is a big blow. Ponting’s form is iffy. Shane Watson is the only consistent performer. Michael Clarke and David Hussey are just about adequate and nothing more.
Spin: Kreja is their leading spinner and is not sure to play in India! Steven Smith is handy but not quite the finished package yet. The injury to Hauritz is a big blow but even he does not inspire confidence.
Making History – Ponting could become the first Captain to win 3 world cups. They would also like to continue their run of 29 wins on the trot in the world cup. Australia have won in Europe, Africa and America, they can add Asia to the list if they win.
Flat Low Tracks – This will nullify the Aussies fast bowling advantage and their attack may actually leak a bucketful of runs
The law of averages is catching up with this team as much as the other teams , or has it?
Chances of winning the world cup – 50%
Chances of bad boys turning good – 0%
England up next!!!