Can Australia do it four on a trot?
“Australia are no longer invincible“, “This time, it’s not going to be Ricky again“, “Australia can never be written off“- so much hype and predictions surrounding Australia’s chances at this year’s World Cup. Australia’s position has slipped from No. 1 Test ranking to No.5. The ignominious Ashes defeat to their arch rivals signaled “end of Australian domination” ,’end of the glorious era for Aussies” and so on. Some sort of Aussie fightback was clearly evident in their recent thumping of the English side in the ODI series. Still the odds do not make the Aussies the overwhelming favorites. Not even their No. 1 ODI ranking has got any relevance in this matter.
Every time the team is out there on the field, expectations are bound to roar high and (un)fortunately, hopes are still intact; they have not crumbled down. The ability to deliver consistently in such a high pressure event has always been the forte of the Australian team. They are known for peaking at the right time and perform on the big stage when required.
It’s no secret that the team relies heavily on its pace trio of Tait, Lee and Johnson. Provided that Tait and Johnson don’t go erratic, the pace on their deliveries can spell disasters for other teams. When it comes to slow bowling department, Jason Krejza, having played just one ODI, spearheads the charge assisted by a leg spinner Steven Smith. A number of part-timers including David Hussey and Michael Clarke can always come in handy for the team. The slow sub-continental conditions where spin bowling plays a pivotal role would definitely call for the main spinners to adapt to the conditions to fancy the team’s chances.
Shane Watson, has to be in the form of his life at the top of the order to propel the team to post formidable totals. Ponting has to up his ante before the the team faces a “real” challenge. Michael Clarke, Haddin, White and of course the Hussey brothers will be required to bring out their best if Australia are to take the trophy home.
It’s still a long way to go for the team. Three more matches for the team and that would determine the fate of the team further deep into the event. Australia may triumph for a fourth consecutive time and rewrite history books. Equal is the probability of the team going down just to reinforce the statement issued by the critics regarding the death of Australian cricket. This Cup is anyone’s Cup and unfortunately the “favorite” tag does not ensure victory. Neither the ‘minnow” tag does guarantee defeat. If Australia do click at the right time, it won’t be surprising to see Punter’s men lift the trophy for a third consecutive time under his captaincy.