I dont know how many are feeling like me but this time around I dont want Australia to win. It was way back in 1996 when team other than Australia won. My support is to every team who play against them.
Till early January they were not considered as potential winners because of significant decline in their performance. They had horrible India tour and forgettable Ashes. Their top batsman were struggling for form and their bowling department looked faded because of injuries and retirement.Nothing seems to be going Australian way.
Just when talks of World cup started to make headlines, from nowhere they once again started playing like world champions. They were excited with the comebacks of Shaun Tait and Brett Lee. Their bowling once again looked fierce after so many months.They thrashed england and raised the alarm of danger for other teams.
They lost their two practice matches but no one can deny the fact that they are still the strongest contender of this world cup. They started a bit slow against Zimbabwe but completely thrased New Zealand in other. I was eagerly waiting for their match against Srilanka which could test them as a unit but match could not finish thanks to the Colombo rain who once frustrated me when final of the Champions trophy could not be completed in two days.
They have the most fierce fast bowling attack with 3-4 bowlers who can bowl 150 Kmph. Their fast bowlers had shown how to bowl fast in Indian flat tracks. They all out India with a strong batting line up in their practice match well before 50 overs.
Shane Watson is a dream players for any team. He can bowl, he can bat, he can field, he can hit big sixes, he can take wickets, I dont know what he cant do in cricket field, very important for them.
They also have a good blend of players like David hussy , Smith and Johnson who can bat well and bowl well. They are also a world class fielding side.
In my opinion their strongest point is their mental stability.They are very strong mentally. Almost every player has the capability to deliver in big occasions which is very important in tournaments having knock out stages.
Right now their biggest worry is their captain's batting form. Ponting had been out of form from some time now. Pressure seems to be increasing on him which may affect his captaincy and ultimately Australia. They had also hit by some injuries to their key players like M. Hussy which could be crucial.
Their weakest link is their ability or I should say disability to play good spinners. They shown this in practice match against India and also with Zimbabwe where they struggled to make runs against Price. Oppositions like India, Srilanka, Pakistan and SA can very well exploit them as they all have some quality spinners.
Australia have Smith and Kreja as spinners but both had not impressed me till now. Their performance is very crucial for Australia.
My Prediction : I have a intuition that they will meet India in quarters and will lose there only.
My suggestions to their opposition: Bat first if possible and have some patience in starting overs against their fast bowling trio. Once you are set against them you can score runs freely.
Next writing will be on South Africa' s contention in this world cup.
cheers till then. :)