Mamu asked me if I can write my Cricket World Cup winner prediction on this blog itself rather than writing on my own blog. I said why not, so here I am with my analysis, prediction and
betting tips for one of the biggest Cricket event ever organized so far.
Almost 90% of Cricket followers would have already picked their winning team(s) and it's no surprise that Australia and South Africa are the top 2 picks for majority of them. New Zealand comes 3rd in the list of favourites to win the trophy.
My pick is no different. Like any sport Cricket is also almost predictable. In last year's football world cup majority of pundits agreed on Brazil, Spain or Germany to be the winner in that order. Dutch pulled off some stunners but ultimately Germans prevailed.
In last Cricket World cup we all knew it's going to be India or no one.
This world cup is going to be no different. It's Australia, South Africa or New Zealand and probably one stunner.
Now follows my analysis starting from the most favourite to the minnows.
The reason why Kangaroos are unanimously favourite is not their home advantage but their superb all round performance at home and abroad. They terrorized Brits in Ashes at home and away followed by series of domination at all visitors who dared to challenged Australia's authority. The most noticeable humiliation was handed to none other than our boys in Blue and not once but twice.
No team came closer to challenge Australia at their home turf in any format. A few loses here and there but they remained overall winner.
The emergence of new breed of Australian batsmen combined with their bowling pace battery and overall team spirit has lifted Australians to a level which has not been seen in any team recently barring South Africa.
Any team which wants to taste sweet victory over Australia has to tame them in all 3 departments which isn't going to be easy task.
Starting from David Warner down to James Falkner all of them have shown their caliber and all of them are dangerous. Captain in waiting Smith looks like to be the hero of this world cup. No need to write about Australian pace machine and all those part timers who are equally well capable to winning matches on their own.
An Indian authored a fiction book recently in which he told the story how SA are cursed not to win any World Cup. Cursed or not they are still waiting for their first trophy despite being favourite to will all of them since 1992. Can they lift this curse this time? They have chances, they have team, they have like of AB De Villiers, Faf Du Plessis, David Miller and certain Dale Steyn who are the main players to watch from the rainbow country. Calm Amla provides stability at the top which culminates in some hard hitting fireworks by ABD or David Miller. ABD's record breaking fastest ODI century couldn't have come any better time. Australian pitches are batting friendly so we expect few more spectacular innings from team SA.
Australia is the only team which can seriously challenge SA otherwise I see them remaining unchallenged till the final except few hiccups.
NZ are the host and like their big brother Australia they have also humiliated visitors in their tiny country with small stadiums and plenty of boundaries. Our Asian brothers have been on the receiving side of their wrath.
This is the best New Zealand team ever assembled so far in any World Cup. It's a well balanced team with hard hitters, inning stabilizers, quick bowlers and not to mention ever good fielders. Good news is that Daniel Vettori is back in the team and we all know that he is one of the best ever kiwi spinner.
Guptil and Tylor's batting were put to scrutiny but with their recent performances they have announced that they are equally good as captain McCullum.
Home advantage and their recent all round winning performances put them in 3rd position on my list.
However be warned that NZ are well known chokers and as saying goes old habit dies hard. Their past can come back any time to haunt them and that will be end to their fairytale. They have been vulnerable at the top and they are not well known for the best finisher with the willow. Kiwis are smart enough to get best out of small stadiums and they know how to milk easy runs. They have used this trick over and over again all the time to their advantage. None of visitors have ever managed to unlock this trick recently.
Having settled for top 3 the hard work starts for the rest of favorites. Rest all of top participating teams have been struggling on their own. Think over this:
India whacked England in England. England got whacked by Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka who were humilated by Indian in India. Then turn of tide Indians were subdued by England in tri series in Australia.
So where do we stand with above equation? It's all messed up. The only conclusion we can draw from above performances is that none of these teams are reliable.
Because they have a very potent bowling line up as we have seen in the warm up match against WI. 15 West Indians couldn't cope with English pace. Their batting is not to bad. They were never good in fielding so no need to even consider that. So what are they lacking? Stable batting performances. Their batting lineup is good and they are well capable of forming few good partnerships but for some reason they fail to perform all the time. Ali, Bell, Tylor, Root and captain Morgan all are good batsmen and they have got our brother Bopara as ball whacker and good finisher.
So how far England can go?
If lucky then they can go as far as semi finals where they meet Aus/SA and they are out.
Trivia: The inventor of game have never won World Cup.
Yup India is still not in picture. Lankans are the best Asian teams on quick surface and they have a reliable well experienced batting line up starting from top to middle order including my favourite trio - Dilshan, MJ and Sangga. Good news is that Malinga is back in the team, bad news can he remain in the team and show his best for which is famous far? I'm not sure, he has not been in action since long time specially on quick surface.
Despite being not the most favourite team in World Cups, Sri Lanka have managed to push their way up by one way or another specially in home like condition. How far can they go this time? I can see them going as far as Semis and get booted out if they meet Aus/SA/NZ. If they meet any Asian cousins then they can be favourite to go in the final.
I think above analysis is enough for us punters to pick winners and trade accordingly. Rest of the middle and bottom teams don't matter. Just for the sake of analysis I'll write few lines on them.
1/3rd of humanity will be disappointed to know that their team will struggle to reach the semi finals let alone even dreaming about defending the title. Even I struggle to find any or even 1 good thing coming out of this team. They look utterly chaotic. They don't have a good openers, middle orders are butt of joke and captain in waiting Vriat Kohli, the only known good batsmen on fast pitches, is out of form. Dhoni left his helicopter in Ranchi and rest of his crew have no clue what they are going to do in this world cup. My favourite Raina looks like he is not an ODI batsman at all and another one Rohit Sharma barely manages to remain in the team by giving his best when is he is about to shown doors. Lambu Sharma injured and out. Bhuvi, Shami and another Sharma are the ones on which we have to rely on. Axar Patel looks promising but he is not Yuvraj Singh.
We don't have a hero for this world cup and we are not going too far with team effort. So good luck team India go back early and get busy for IPL as world cup is not your cuppa tea this time.
I'm not sure what to say about them. They got whacked by NZ in short 2 ODI series and their bad luck they have to play arch rival India in their opening match who they have never defeated in World Cup. India holds clean sheet of 5-0 dominance in the World cup over Pakistan.
They haven't got bowlers, they don't have someone to rely on in batting and their fielding is village circus. Misbah is the lone warrior out there added by eccentric Pathan Afridi. They are not going anywhere expect back to home with this team. There are no Imran Khans and no Wasim Akram this time and hence there are no hope of pulling off second stunner.
Minnows are over the moon for getting opportunity to play alongside the big 8. Zimbabwe and Bangladesh are the only ones with ODI history with them and they are capable of stunning big 8. Rest of them are just to fill the gap. Ireland might give some trouble but they are not in the same pool as England so expect no giant slaying this time.
The news is that next world cup will have less teams so this is probably the last chance for few teams to make it to the world cup.
Oh yes, I didn't know that UAE has a Cricket team!
Australia, South Africa and New Zealand are closing in to lift the trophy.
This article went too far. I was thinking to add betting tips in the same article but ran out of time. So wait for my next post for World Cup 2015 Betting Tips.