The ICC World Cup bowls off on Feb. 19 and Australia in spite of losing the ashes to England in the test series still has a huge advantage over many other teams. There are 14 teams scheduled to participate in the World Cup and the Aussies are standing tall in the top four of the rankings going into the competition. Australia is in group “A” and only Pakistan may give the Aussies a huge challenge.
Australia poses a threat to any team in the World Cup because of the all-round abilities of most of their players. Cameron Whites, Shane Watson, Micheal Clarke, Mitchell Johnson and the veteran Brett Lee are experienced and they have the knowledge on how to win. All-round abilities make a big difference in these limited-over matches.
There is only one other team with the all-round abilities as Australia and that team is India. India is number one in test cricket according to the ICC standings and their success came about because of their valuable all-rounders. Harbhajan Singh, the spinner, scored test centuries against New Zealand. Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, Yousuf Pathan and Rohit Sharma are all all-rounders.
Note: Undoubtedly, Australia and India have the all-round strengths.
Captain Ricky Pointing along with the swashbuckling openers, David Warner and Shane Watson put the Aussies in full gear. David Hussey, Mike Hussey and the depth of the Australian batting goes all the way down the order. Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson and Cameron White are well -secured at the bottom to revive their team from any other collapse.
South Africa has a superb team with some fine bowlers but their batting does not stretch all the way down the order. Sri Lanka and England have bowling strengths also but their batting stop short of going down the order.
World Cup Groups
Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Canada, Kenya
India, South Africa, England, West Indies, Bangladesh, Ireland, Netherlands
Head coach Ottis Gibson must get down to some serious work with the bowlers in order to get fruitful results. Some progress have been made with batting but bowling is of a major concern.
Although World Cup 2011 is a major event for the West Indies, the West Indies Cricket Board is hosting Pakistan and India just after the World Cup in test matches and one-day games.West Indies bowlers must develop strategies on how to pick up wickets frequently. Some serious work has to be done in this category.
The vice captain of the West Indies team should be able to compete in mainly tests and one-day internationals. The West Indies team is finding itself in a strange position without its vice captain in a main international event.
The West Indies selectors erred when Brendan Nash was selected to be the vice captain. The selectors were well aware that Nash would not be selected for the one-day games. Young Adrian Barath should be appointed vice captain for the World Cup because the senior players have no interest in the captaincy nor vice captain position.