As the World Cup is one day away, we come to the all-important question: Who will win?
The Indian team is walking into the World Cup, with the “defending champion” tag. Captain MS Dhoni is all ready with a strategy plan for victory, and now its time for him to again lead the team to the win. India has several fine players like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohd. Shami etc . Lets see if India keeps its words: #WontGiveItBack
The Australian team (four time World Cup champions) is considered of the toughest teams to compete with. The reason for this is their destructive batting (David Warner, Shane Watson and Steve Smith) and lethal bowling (Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc and James Faulkner) line-ups. This team has always taken advantage of the home ground like recently in the Carlton Tri Series and I am sure this will also come as a plus point in the World Cup.
Pakistan won the World Cup once in 1992. Currently this team is led by talented batsman Misbah Ul Haq. They have a decent batting line up with Younis Khan, Umar Akmal and Shaoib Maqsood and also gifted all rounders like Shahid Afridi and Mohd. Hafeez. Pakistan’s bowling front is headed by Mohammad Irfan whose pace can prove beneficial on Australian pitches.
England’s performance in the recent Tri series was fascinating. England have never won the World Cup but they have finished runners-up in 1979, 1987 and 1992. Talking about the players, Ian bell, Moeen Ali and Eoin Morgan are the ones to look out for in batting. In the bowling department, the team depends heavily on pacers James Anderson and Stuart Broad, who set the pace (quite literally).
5. Sri Lanka
In the last (2011) World Cup, Sri Lanka was defeated in the final. The Sri Lankan team has the right mix of youth and experience. It is led by the energetic Angelo Mathews, who has had great success captaining the side in both Tests and ODIs. The team consists the great trio of Kumar Sangakkara, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Mahela Jayawardene. They will definitely be looking to win the title this time!
6. South Africa
South Africa has always performed well in the initial games of the World Cup and lived up to their “choker” image in the later stages. The captain, AB de Villiers scored the fastest ever ODI century and half-century. The other South African players like Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla, JP Duminy , Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn are also in their good form and together, they make the proteas the favourites for the cup!
7. New Zealand
The co-hosts of the 2015 Cricket World Cup, New Zealand haven’t won the premier tournament even once. Skippered by the batting sensation Brendon McCullum, the team boasts of a strong batting line-up which, apart from the captain himself, includes Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson. Overall, it is a very balanced side- it has batsmen who can dig deep and hit hurricane 36-ball hundreds, perky fielders who can pluck the ball out of thin air, and bowlers who can both swing and spin the ball.
8. West Indies
Winners of the first two World Cups in 1975 and 1979, the West Indies are a gracious set, and this time in ICC World Cup 2015, they look set to make some smashing scores. They have world class batsman like Chris Gayle, Darren Bravo and Lendl Simmons. Moreover, withdrawal of their mystery spinner, Sunil Narine is going to be a big blow for them. What lies ahead for them in such a scenario?
Quickly set the alarm clock to Australian time, because, the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 is here!
By Nikhil Gautam