After Australia’s woeful capitulation in the Ashes, there wouldn’t have been many backing them to win their fourth successive World Cup. But a 6-1 triumph over England in the ODI series that followed may have changed some minds. Australia certainly have renewed confidence and with Ponting back at the helm and a unique strategy based on four fast bowlers an unprecedented four-peat could be on.
Their fearsome bowling attack will blow the lesser teams away to ensure a straightforward progress through to the knockout stages. With the exception of Clarke, all of Australia’s batsmen have the ability to hit over the top and score rapidly. Recent history is on their side too.
Can Lee and Tait stay fit for the whole competition? And will pace work on the slow sub-continental pitches against the likes of the Indian and Sri Lankan batsmen? The spinner Krejza doesn’t inspire confidence and the absence of Mike Hussey deprives Australia of the best finisher in the game.
As much as it pains us to say it, Shane Watson's effective if inelegant hitting at the top of the order is likely to bring him plenty of runs here. His ability to take the pace off the ball should earn him a share of the wickets too.
Look out for…
The square-leg umpire taking evasive action as Mitchell Johnson’s radar goes awry again.
Serene progress through the group in 2nd place, before England earn quick revenge for the 6-1 thrashing by beating Ponting’s men in the quarter-final.
Check out all our Reverse Sweep heroes and zeroes including Shane Watson, Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson
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