Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Cricket World Cup 2015 - Event Preview

Welcome to the grand extravaganza of the Cricketing world. A tournament where all the top Cricketing teams compete for the most coveted prize of them all in this sport. A tournament where players strive to make a name for themselves. A tournament where boys become men and men become legends. A tournament which is bound to be remembered for years and decades to come. A tournament which is watched by fans from all across the cricketing world. We call it the Cricket World Cup, quite an irony considering only a handful of teams play Cricket on the world stage. But to be fair to the game loved by millions of fans including me, this once-in-four-year event is still worth a dekko. Now that I am done with the sarcasm, let’s get down to facts.

Team India are the defending champions, winning in quite an extraordinary fashion in 2011 and defeating some of the favorites and past champions along the way, especially Australia and Sri Lanka. By winning the 2011 event, India handed a fitting return gift to their Cricket God – Sachin Tendulkar. Although that moment will be savored by Indian fans for years to come, this Indian team would have been better off with Sachin in their team for the 2015 edition! Australia, as always, start as favorites on their home soil. Pakistan, as always, enter the event as the most unpredictable team. Sri Lanka bids farewell to two of their stalwarts – Jayawardene and Sangakkara – which makes them the India of 2011. You expect South Africa to shed the “chokers” tag in every World Cup event. And then we have teams like New Zealand, England, West Indies etc to grab their moment of fame in this extravaganza. Watch out for teams like Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Scotland and UAE to make the most of their “swimming with the sharks” tale.

Format – Two pools (A and B) of 7 teams each. 

ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 Teams in Pool A and B

Each team has been seeded from 1 to 14. In a pool, every team will play every other team once, which means 6 matches per team. The top 4 teams from each pool will enter the knockout phase. In the quarters, A1 will play B4, A2 against B3, A3 against B2 and A4 against B1. One look at the pool and you will realize this is more like match practice for top seeded teams before their knockout phase. What’s surprising is that England and South Africa, two team who have never won the World Cup and were 7th and 5th respectively in the previous edition, are the top 2 seeds. I understand it’s based on the ICC ODI rankings, but don’t you think the seeding needs to be more intuitive?

Either ways, you’d expect England, Australia, Sri Lanka and New Zealand (despite being lower in seeding to Bangladesh) from pool A and South Africa, India, Pakistan and West Indies from pool B to qualify for the knockouts. 

But is it that simple? Isn't there more to it than meets the eye? 

Form factor – 

The lower placed teams in each pool are more than capable of springing a surprise. Bangladesh will be more than a handful for pool A teams. Bangladesh themselves know they are within touching distance of reaching the quarters if they play to their strengths. One upset is all its needed. Don’t expect Ireland and Zimbabwe to be mere pushovers especially considering the fact that pool B has some unpredictable teams. To make matters interesting, the top teams aren’t necessarily in top form. Teams like West Indies don’t have their top players for this World Cup. India’s best result in the recently concluded ODI series happened when rain gods stepped in and the match against Australia was abandoned. Sri Lanka and Pakistan are having mixed results off late.

In my opinion, following are the top teams to watch out for – 

Ignore these teams at your own peril – 

  • Pakistan
  • England

My Prediction – 
If I have to place my money on a team (metaphorically, I mean), it’d be Australia for obvious reasons, closely followed by South Africa and New Zealand. I have my reservations for Asian teams considering their recent form and Australian conditions. Historically speaking, the last time an Asian team won the World Cup in alien condition was when Pakistan defeated England in 1992 and the venue was Australia, that’s 23 years back! You see why I am so pessimistic about Asian teams?

Let the best team win. After all, there are four years of bragging rights for the taking!


  1. Alok thinks on the same line. He is even placing England there. I am just looking forward to Feb 15th and praying India wins.

    Didn't understand this - Sri Lanka bids farewell to two of their stalwarts – Jayawardene and Sangakkara – which makes them the India of 2011.

    1. England are a good ODI side, but I feel they are under-achievers.. The whole world is looking forward to Feb 15 (for a change, few are concerned about Feb 14). As far as your query is concerned, Jayawardene and Sangakkara are playing their last World Cup and their team would love to win this cup for them (similar to Sachin and the Indian team of 2011).


All yours..

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