Ready For The Cup That Counts…

All the test playing nations have finished their final preparatory tours before ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. ICC World Cup is going to be held in India, Srilanka and Bangladesh from 19th of this month. The time for assessment of best available final eleven and most suitable combinations is finally over. It is now the matter of time before the warm up matches begin in co-hosts.

Four time champions and currently the ‘Defending Champions’ Australia have finally found the right rhythm and form just before the big event, by

Watto will love to deliver as he did in Champions Trophy last year

demolishing England 6-1 in seven match ODI series. Individual performances of Shane Watson, Micheal Clarke, Brett Lee, Shaun Tait and a fine all round performance of Mitchell Johnson has certainly lifted the spirits of the Aussies squad. Although, they missed an experience skipper as Ricky Ponting and Mr.Cricket “Micheal Hussey” throughout the series but they are expected to be fit before World Cup. So, they are really expected to put up a strong fight in main event.

Although, One time Champion, Hot favorites and one the host of WC, India was beaten by South Africa 3-2 in 5 ODI series but they put a fine fighting performance against them on their home soil. Also, India was without their best batsmen, the legend Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Ghambir who missed out the series due to injuries. They

Without any doubt Sachin has achieved everything but will be desperate to achieve what he hasn't.

have a nice combination of youth and experience and presence of  in-form pinch hitter in the form of Yousaf Pathan makes their batting line up even stronger. With this strong batting line up they are without any doubt one of the most balanced and strongest contender for the Cup that counts“.

South Africa, the “Chokers“, once again has very strong team ahead of World Cup. All eyes will be on Ultimate run machine “Hashim Amla” who is playing his first world cup and is in his supreme form, South Africa will be expecting him to deliver something special in the land of his ancestors. Greame Smith who is captaining the side for quite a long time will be looking

Kallis will try hard to add another feather in his cap.

forward for the main event. Jacques Kallis, probably one of the best All-rounder the world has seen, will love to add another feather in his cap. With a pretty balance team, “South Africa may have the best chance to remove Chokers title with their name”.

1996 champions and other co-host of WC,Sri Lanka may not look strong on paper but their home conditions will surely have a strong influence on the Big Event and with spin wizard in their tank, they are quite difficult to beat. Their wicket keeper captain , Kumar Sangakkara is among the best players of spin, Mahela Jayawardena is also the part of strong middle order along with Solid Samaraweera, they will be the main hope for Sri

Muralitharan

Murali will be expecting to end his career on high.

lanka in the big event. Muttiah Muralitharan will be looking forward for the World Cup for ending his historic career on high. “Sri Lanka will love to repeat the history they made by winning the last World Cup in this region”.

A year back England achieved what it hasn’t in past hundred years, they finally won an ICC tournament by beating their rivals Australia in the final of T20 championship. Then, the world saw them retaining Ashes after a very long time but unfortunately for them after one year of success, they lost their touch just before WC. Aussies completely outclassed England by 6-1 victory in recently concluded series.

They will be hoping to get their first choice bowlers back in the line up who

Strauss believes that Ashes glory is not tarnished.

are struggling with injuries. English cricketing fans are also backing their hero of T20 Kevin Petersen to get into form. The presence of Johnathon Trott and James Anderson in the team makes them one of the contender of all important world cup. Return of their best spinner Greame Swann may also inspires them for a victory.

1992 World Champions, and the unpredictable, Pakistan, may not have their best bowling attack as “Double A” has been banned by ICC on the spot fixing conspiracy but they still have the old horse “Shoaib Akhtar”, Aggressive youngster Wahab Raiz accompanied with an off-spinner, leg spinner and a part-timer. Moreover, presence of a pinch

Afridi will have to lead from front in the World Cup as he did in T20 World Cup

hitters like captain Shahid Afridi himself and Abdur Razzaq makes them quite a dangerous side. Ex-players and cricketing “Gurus” may not rate them among the favorites but Pakistani cricket fans still believes that Shahid “Khan” Afridi will bring the glory to Pakistan as Imran  “Khan” did in 1992.

Ultimate underdog, New Zealand, may not be in its best form but they have quite a strange record of performing much better than expected in main events, who can forget that they went into the finals of Champions Trophy last year out of no where. Presence of Guptill, Ross Taylor, Jesse Ryder and one of the most deadly batsman on his day, Brandon McCullum makes their batting capricious. Kiwis may not have achieved much during the tenure of Daniel Vettori as captain but he will

Can he lead his team to first ever World Cup victory?

definitely try to end his tenure as a rememberable one.

World Champions of first two main events, the ‘Destroyers’ , West Indies are struggling for quite a long time now. They certainly have lost their identification, “Fast and Dangerous” bowling. They have not be able to find the replacement of irreplaceable Ambrose, Courtney Walsh and obviously the “Whispering Death” Micheal Holding but they have found some fearless hitters like Chris Gayle and Kevin Pollard. Darren Sammy will love to achieve something special as a leader in the World Cup.

Will he be able to achieve the lost glory of West Indies Cricket.

Bangladesh already have shocked the cricketing world by beating Pakistan in 99 and India and South Africa in 2007 world cups. Talented youngsters with nothing to lose and true passion for the game with determination and hard work can no doubt upset any team of the world.

Finally, the associate nations, the silent and hidden opponents always bring surprises in World Cups. Pakistan being the victim in the recent times, who knows what they have for the cricketing world on this occasion.

Hopefully, this World Cup will work as cure on the wounds that cricketing fans and cricket itself, have achieved in recent times mostly due to Spot Fixing Scandals.

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