by Navaneeth Reddy

I have been watching cricket from past 20 years and there was never a World Cup where Australia were not favorites. In fact for most of the World Cups people knew Australians would win and they did win not once but three times consequently. I always waited for a day to come where Australians would not be favorites for a World Cup and especially after 2011 world cup there was a huge possibility for that to happen but it did not happen. The way Australia made a team from nowhere in 3 years is absolutely amazing. According to me the timing of retirement of the Australian legends was great which made the youngsters to learn from the experience of them.

According to me their domestic circuit is one of the best which is a main reason for Australia to be favorites and one more obvious reason being World Cup held in Australia. IF world cup might have been held in spinner friendly conditions I don’t think they would be a favorite as their batsmen don’t have enough experience to play well in spinning tracks and they don’t have spin bowlers who can win games. As World cup is going to happen in Australia they are going to be one of the favorites and there is a huge chance of them winning it as well. Click here for the latest betting infomation.

Evolution of Australian players in the past three years has been exceptional. If we look back David Warner was a explosive batsmen who can win matches on his won but he was no way near consistent but in the last three he achieved some thing which most of them couldn’t that is being explosive and consistent. Warner scored 1136 in 2014 in test matches, how many of us have thought Warner would play text cricket in 2011?  This shows how much David Warner have developed in last 3 years. Aaron Finch is doing the David Warner now in being consistent and explosive which makes the opening pair of Warner and Finch the most explosive opening pair. This pair reminds me of Hayden and Gilchrist which is one of the best opening pairs of for Australia. If either won of them play well they can win the game on their won. If both of them plays well then it’s a nightmare for any opposition.

Three years back none of the current players in the Australian middle order were even known to anyone except Watson. Watson is one of the players who many thought would become one of the best all-rounders of all time but he is at the same position where he was three years back which is very disappointing but on his day he can win a match with both bat and ball. The present middle order is a perfect mix of aggression and defense with players like Maxwell and Watson who can hit any bowler out of the stadium and with players like Bailey, Smith and Clarke who plays according to situations. Steve Smith evolution from a leg spinner to an extraordinary batsmen is one of the stories of the decade. Steve Smith’s batting is a treat to watch especially his cover drive. His ability to play well against both spin and pace along with his consistency makes him one of the players to watch out for this world cup. He can be the highest run getter in the Australian team as well as the whole tournament. His current form is one of the best and scoring most of them on the world cup venues will help him a lot.

Clarke’s fitness is a question for the world cup but even his presence in the dressing room would make a huge difference for the whole squad. In the past three years he scored tons of runs but his main development has been his leadership. He lead this new look Australian team from the front all this years and because of that whole squad would want him to be with them. With the likes of Shaun Marsh, Glen Maxwell in the middle order Australian middle order is one of the best batting line ups. They lack experience but as the world cup is in Australia it won’t be a problem for them. Brad Haddin is one of the best gloves men in the present players. Even though he is not a great batsmen, his experience and ability to score runs at a brisk pace will help Australian team to a great extent.

With Mitch Johnson, Mitch Starc and Pat Cummins there is no doubt about the pace of the attack. Johnson have reinvented himself in the last two years and now with his pace and aggression he can be unplayable. Mitch Starc have evolved from a youngster to a consistent performer and he is extremely good at bowling in death which is deciding factor in the ODI’s now. His swinging Yorker is one of those which now batsmen want to face. Pat Cummins is very inconsistent in his line and length but very consistent with his pace who can bowl around 150kmph every ball. With that pace it would very difficult to any batsmen especially to those who haven’t faced this kind of speeds.

Australian bowling is very pacey and this doesn’t mean they don’t have bowlers who can bowl line and length. They have Hazzlewood who is very consistent with his line and length along with a decent pace. Combination of the Hazzlewood along with two of three pacey bowlers would be a worry to any batting line up. His bowling performances in the test series were decent and he was always very tidy which makes him a reliable option for the Skipper. With Faulkner they have a bowler who can bowl at death very effectively and a batsmen who can contribute with the bat as an all-rounder. Mitch marsh is of same kind but he is a better batsmen than Faulkner but he is not really great with the ball. This gives captain the option to choose the player based on the requirement.

Only spin bowler Australian team in the squad is Doherty, who is not a match winner or a consistent performer but he is always economical and very accurate. His selection over Lyon was just because of those two reasons. Australian pace bowlers may go for runs at times but they want an option to hold one end and they chose Doherty for that cause. With Steve Smith and Maxwell having ability to bowl part time Australians are not really short on this as well.

Even with just 5 players who have experience in playing in a world cup they are a huge force and there is a huge chance of them winning the world cup. One good part about the squad is that captain have a number of options to choose based on the conditions as no two player’s offers the same qualities which is a huge plus in a big tournament. According to me Steve Smith and Mitch Johnson are the players to watch for in the team who can be contenders for the man of the tournament for the World cup.