Cricket Article

2011 Cricket World Cup Preview

The 2011 World Cup of cricket in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh begins on Saturday February 19 and with no clear favourite there’s plenty of anticipation ahead of the tournament, so here’s our preview.Can Australia win again?>

Group A

Australia Australia come into the 2011 World Cup as one of the genuine favourites. The Aussies have won the past three World Cups and are four-time champions. Australia also won the 2009 ICC Champions Trophy in South Africa, but the conditions in the subcontinent might be tricky. Shane Watson is their star player but they may be short a spinner. Michael Clarke needs to find form with the bat, while Ricky Ponting’s return from injury and a poor Ashes series will be worth monitoring.

2010 Records Most Runs; Cameron White (848 runs), Mike Hussey (825), Michael Clarke (777) Best Batting Average; Michael Clarke (55.50) Most Wickets; Ryan Harris (40 wickets), Doug Bollinger (28), Clint McKay (27) Best Bowling Average; Ryan Harris (15.17)

Form January-February 2011, 7-match Series v England in Australia, Australia won 6-1 November 2010, 3-match Series v Sri Lanka in Australia, SL won 2-1 October 2010, 3-match Series v India in India, India won 1-0 June-July 2010, 5-match Series v England in England, England won 3-2 June 2010, ODI match v Ireland in Ireland, Australia won by 39 runs March 2010, 5-match Series v New Zealand in NZ, Australia won 3-2 February 2010, 5-match Series vs West Indies in Australia, Australia won 4-0 January 2010, 5-match Series v Pakistan in Australia, Australia won 5-0

New Zealand The Black Caps come into the 2011 World Cup in some poor form after a woeful run of results. They are 2009 ICC Champions Trophy runners-up but recent form and their number 7 ODI ranking suggests they’ll struggle. Dan Vettori and Brendon McCullum are key men.

2010 Records Most Runs; Ross Taylor (676), Scott Styris (474), Martin Guptill (363) Best Batting Average; James Franklin (63.00) Most Wickets; Daniel Vettori (21), Kyle Mills (19), Andy McKay (19) Best Bowling Average; Daniel Vettori (25.66)

Form January-February 2011, 6-match Series v Pakistan in New Zealand, Pakistan won 3-2 November-December 2010, 5-match Series v India in India, India won 5-0 October 2010, 5-match Series v Bangladesh in Bangladesh, Bangladesh won 4-0 August 2010, Triangular Series v India & Sri Lanka in SL, NZ finished third February 2010, 3-match Series v Bangladesh in New Zealand, NZ won 3-0

Shoaib is back>

Pakistan Pakistan might be in disarray off-field but they are many people’s dark horses for this tournament. Shahid Afridi will be keen to impress as always, while Shoaib Akhtar is also on board.

2010 Records Most Runs; Shahid Afridi (601), Umar Akmal (473), Fawad Alam (393) Best Batting Average; Abdul Razzaq (55.16) Most Wickets; Shoaib Akhtar (19), Shahid Afridi (19), Saeed Ajmal (17) Best Bowling Average; Umar Gul (29.26)

Form January-February 2011, 6-match Series v New Zealand in NZ, Pakistan won 3-2 October-November 2010, 5-match Series v South Africa in UAE, South Africa won 3-2 September 2010, 5-match Series v England in England, England won 3-2 June 2010, Asia Cup v India, Bangladesh & Sri Lanka in SL, Pakistan finished third January 2010, 5-match Series v Australia in Australia, Australia won 5-0

Sri Lanka Sri Lanka may be currently have an ODI ranking of three but they head for the 2011 World Cup as one of the real favourites, especially with games on home soil and in familiar settings. The 1996 winners will see off Muttiah Muralitharan in this tournament as extra motivation while canny skipper Kumar Sangakkara offers plenty along with Mahela Jayawardene.

2010 Records Most Runs; Tillakaratne Dilshan (921), Kumar Sangakkara (726), Upul Tharanga (707) Best Batting Average; Tillakaratne Dilshan (51.16) Most Wickets; Thisara Perera (22), Lasith Malinga (18), Nuwan Kulasekara (18) Best Bowling Average; Thisara Perera (18.90)

Sri Lanka are a big danger>

Form January-February 2011, 3-match Series v West Indies in Sri Lanka, SL won 2-0 November 2010, 3-match Series v Australia in Australia, Sri Lanka won 2-1 August 2010, Triangular Series v India & New Zealand in Sri Lanka, SL won final over India by 74 runs June 2010, Asia Cup v India, Bangladesh & Pakistan in Sri Lanka, SL lost final to India by 81 runs May-June 2010, Triangular Series v India & Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe, SL won final over Zimbabwe by 9 wickets January 2010, Tri-Nations Series v Bangladesh & India in Bangladesh, SL won final over India by 4 wickets

Zimbabwe The African nation will be outsiders in this group particularly given their record on the subcontinent. Former Zimbabwe bowler Heath Streak is the coach and he’ll be hoping for plenty of runs from Brendan Taylor but it’s highly unlikely they’ll progress.

2010 Records Most Runs; Brendan Taylor (723), Tatenda Taibu (574), Elton Chigumbura (368) Best Batting Average; Brendan Taylor (40.16) Most Wickets; Prosper Utseya (18), Graeme Cremer (15), Chris Mpofu (14) Best Bowling Average; Greg Lamb (33.37)

Form December 2010, 5-match Series v Bangladesh in Bangladesh, Bangladesh won 3-1 October 2010, 3-match Series v South Africa in South Africa, South Africa won 3-0 September 2010, 3-match Series v Ireland in Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe won 2-1 May-June 2010, Triangular Series v India & Sri Lanka in Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe lost final to Sri Lanka by 9 wickets March 2010, 5-match Series v West Indies in West Indies, West Indies won 4-1

Canada

2010 Records Most Runs; Ashish Bagai (539), Hiral Patel (148), Umar Bhatti (138) Best Batting Average; Ashish Bagai (59.88) Most Wickets; Harvir Baidwan (16), Khurram Chohan (13), Rizwan Cheema (10), Parth Desai (10) Best Bowling Average; Harvir Baidwan (19.81)

Form September 2010, 2-match Series v Ireland in Canada, series drawn 1-1 June-July 2010, World Cricket League Division One v Netherlands, Afghanistan, Ireland, Kenya & Scotland in Netherlands, Canada finished fifth April 2010, ODI match v West Indies in West Indies, West Indies won by 208 runs February 2010, 2-match Series v Afghanistan in UAE, series drawn 1-1

Kenya

2010 Records Most Runs; Collins Obuya (340), Alex Obanda (280), Rakep Patel (179) Best Batting Average; Collins Obuya (34.00) Most Wickets; Nehemiah Odhiambo (15), Thomas Odoyo (14), James Ngoche (13) Best Bowling Average; Thomas Odoyo (17.85)

Form October 2010, 3-match Series v Afghanistan in Kenya, Kenya won 2-1 June-July 2010, World Cricket League Division One v Netherlands, Afghanistan, Canada, Ireland & Scotland in Netherlands, Kenya finished last February 2010, 2-match Series v Netherlands in Kenya, series drawn 1-1

Group B

The Little Master is still quality>

India The co-hosts go into the 2011 World Cup as arguably the big favourites considering recent home results and form, along with their current ODI ranking of 2. India boast a squad full of talent, none moreso than 37-year-old star Sachin Tendulkar who still has got that super touch with the bat. MS Dhoni and Virender Sehwag are swashbuckling batsmen, while their spinners should enjoy the local conditions.

2010 Records Most Runs; Virat Kohli (995), Gautam Gambhir (670), Suresh Raina (631) Best Batting Average; Gautam Gambhir (55.83) Most Wickets; Ashish Nehra (28), Praveen Kumar (19), Ravindra Jadeja (19) Best Bowling Average; Ravichandran Ashwin (23.21)

Form January 2011, 5-match Series v South Africa in South Africa, South Africa won 3-2 November-December 2010, 5-match Series v New Zealand in India, India won 5-0 October 2010, 3-match Series v Australia in India, India won 1-0 August 2010, Triangular Series v Sri Lanka & New Zealand in SL, India lost final to SL by 74 runs June 2010, Asia Cup v Sri Lanka, Bangladesh & Pakistan in SL, India won final over SL by 81 runs May-June 2010, Triangular Series v Zimbabwe & Sri Lanka in Zimbabwe, India finished third February 2010, 5-match Series v South Africa in India, India won 3-1 January 2010, Tri-Nations Series v Bangladesh & Sri Lanka in Bangladesh, India lost final to Sri Lanka by 4 wickets

Bangladesh Another of the co-hosts, Bangladesh will be ambitious at the 2011 World Cup and progressing beyond the group stage could happen. In all-rounder Shakih Al Hasan they have a genuine star, plus home ground advantage will help.

2010 Records Most Runs; Imrul Kayes (867), Shakib Al Hasan (787), Tamim Iqbal (776) Best Batting Average; Junaid Siddique (35.50) Most Wickets; Shakib Al Hasan (46), Shafiul Islam (32), Abdur Razzak (29) Best Bowling Average; Shakib Al Hasan (26.00)

Form December 2010, 5-match Series v Zimbabwe in Bangladesh, Bangladesh won 3-1 October 2010, 5-match Series v New Zealand in Bangladesh, Bangladesh won 4-0 July 2010, ODI match v Netherlands in Scotland, Netherlands won by 6 wickets July 2010, 2-match Series v Ireland in Ireland, series drawn 1-1 July 2010, 3-match Series v England in England, England won 2-1 June 2010, Asia Cup v India, Pakistan & Sri Lanka in SL, Bangladesh finished fourth February-March 2010, 3-match Series v England in Bangladesh, England won 3-0 January 2010, Tri-Nations Series v Sri Lanka & India in Bangladesh, Bangladesh finished third

Strauss; England's skipper>

England After a busy and tough summer winning the Ashes in Australia, England come into this tournament with some work to do to progress. Their recent 6-1 ODI series loss in Australia is a concern, along with their slow adjustment to subcontinent pitches but they have time, although they don’t have star man Eoin Morgan who is out injured. Batsmen Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott will be important.

2010 Records Most Runs; Andrew Strauss (806), Eoin Morgan (691), Paul Collingwood (500) Best Batting Average; Andrew Strauss (57.57) Most Wickets; Stuart Broad (30), Graeme Swann (28), Tim Bresnan (19) Best Bowling Average; Graeme Swann (18.67)

Form January-February 2011, 7-match Series v Australia in Australia, Australia won 6-1 September 2010, 5-match Series v Pakistan in England, England won 3-2 July 2010, 3-match Series v Bangladesh in England, England won 2-1 June-July 2010, 5-match Series v Australia in England, England won 3-2 June 2010, ODI match v Scotland in Scotland, England won by 7 wickets February-March 2010, 3-match Series v Bangladesh in Bangladesh, England won 3-0

South Africa South Africa’s World Cup woes have been well documented and they into this tournament with plenty of hope and optimism. The South Africans have a current ODI ranking of 4, plus they boast plenty of talent with Graeme Smith, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis and bowler Dale Steyn, but how will they fare on the subcontinent? Are they too inexperienced?

2010 Records Most Runs; Hashim Amla (1058), Jacques Kallis (593), JP Duminy (433) Best Batting Average; AB de Villiers (80.33) Most Wickets; Morne Morkel (19), Lonwabo Tsotsobe (17), Johan Botha (15) Best Bowling Average; Morne Morkel (22.84)

Form January 2011, 5-match Series v India in South Africa, South Africa won 3-2 October-November 2010, 5-match Series v Pakistan in UAE, South Africa won 3-2 October 2010, 3-match Series v Zimbabwe in South Africa, South Africa won 3-0 May-June 2010, 5-match Series v West Indies in West Indies, South Africa won 5-0 February 2010, 5-match Series v India in India, India won 3-1

Kallis; great all-rounder>

West Indies Off-field issues have hurt the West Indies in recent times and their form of late isn’t encouraging. If this team gets a few wins early they can build with confidence particularly with big guns like Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard. They’ve got some quality all-rounders but they aren’t contenders but could get through this group with a few surprises.

2010 Records Most Runs; Chris Gayle (456), Narsingh Deonarine (411), Shivnarine Chanderpaul (398) Best Batting Average; Shivnarine Chanderpaul (44.22) Most Wickets; Ravi Rampaul (19), Kieron Pollard (18), Dwayne Bravo (15) Best Bowling Average; Kemar Roach (21.40)

Form January-February 2011, 3-match Series v Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka, SL won 2-0 May-June 2010, 5-match Series v South Africa in West Indies, South Africa won 5-0 April 2010, ODI match v Ireland in West Indies, West Indies won by 6 wickets April 2010, ODI match v Canada in West Indies, West Indies won by 208 runs March 2010, 5-match Series v Zimbabwe in West Indies, West Indies won 4-1 February 2010, 5-match Series vs Australia in Australia, Australia won 4-0

Ireland

2010 Records Most Runs; Paul Stirling (771), Kevin O’Brien (452), John Mooney (374) Best Batting Average; Paul Stirling (45.35) Most Wickets; Kevin O’Brien (25), Trent Johnston (20), George Dockrell (20) Best Bowling Average; Andrew White (15.63)

Form September 2010, 3-match Series v Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe won 2-1 September 2010, 2-match Series v Canada in Canada, series drawn 1-1 August 2010, 2-match Series v Netherlands v Ireland, Ireland won 2-0 July 2010, 2-match Series v Bangladesh in Ireland, series drawn 1-1 June-July 2010, World Cricket League Division One v Netherlands, Afghanistan, Canada, Kenya & Scotland in Netherlands, Ireland won final over Scotland by 6 wickets June 2010, ODI match v Australia in Ireland, Australia won by 39 runs April 2010, ODI match v West Indies in West Indies, West Indies won by 6 wickets

Netherlands

2010 Records Most Runs; Tom Cooper (589), Bas Zuiderent (288), Eric Szwarczynski (255) Best Batting Average; Tom Cooper (65.44) Most Wickets; Mark Jonkman (16), Mudussar Bukhari (14), Peter Borren (12) Best Bowling Average; Mark Jonkman (22.93)

Form August 2010, 2-match Series v Ireland v Ireland, Ireland won 2-0 June-July 2010, World Cricket League Division One v Ireland, Afghanistan, Canada, Kenya & Scotland in Netherlands, Netherlands finished fourth June 2010 v ODI match v Scotland in Netherlands, Netherlands won by 6 wickets February 2010, 2-match Series v Kenya in Kenya, series drawn 1-1

  • Best Batting & Bowling Averages must have played 7 games or more, or taken 5 wickets or more
Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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