Thursday, February 12, 2015

Cricket World Cup 2015 Predictions

So another Cricket World Cup is upon us, starting on Valentine's Day Feb 14, 2015, and ending on March 29, 2015. Since cricket is my favourite sport, here's my predictions of the group stage.

England, Australia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, New Zealand, Afghanistan and Scotland

It's quite hard to see anyone other than England, Australia, Sri Lanka and New Zealand qualifying out of this pool - the only interest will be the order of the qualifiers, and whether Bangladesh will manage to lose to Afghanistan or Scotland.

Australia should top this pool. They are - well, they are Australia. They are in good form lately, have won all of their most recent matches and the only concern seem to be Clarke - their captain. Australia has genuine World Cup pedigree, and they are on home soil.

New Zealand should come second in the group. They have batsmen who are in form (actually, in dangerous form), bowlers who bowl with genuine pace and are led by a captain who's probably the best captain in the world at the moment. Expect their batsmen to run up tall scores and their bowlers to pummel the opposition. However, I think Australia has a hold over New Zealand, and will thus beat them in the group match to take the No.1 position in this pool.

Sri Lanka will come in third. They are a bit top heavy, and reliant heavily on a trio of experienced players who may find this World Cup one too many. I am all in favour of having experienced folk play in these high pressure tournaments, but Sri Lanka's younger batsmen have to chip in too, and they are not. Their bowling seems to be missing a genuine threat (see the way Zimbabwe defeated them in the warm up). They will lose to Australia and New Zealand, but will still beat England, so they will come out third.

England will make up the final qualifier out of this group. Their captain is out of form, they have a team of hit and miss players, they play in a more orthodox fashion when the rest of the world has embraced flair, and frankly, England are a boring team. They still have enough quality to outclass the Associates (and Bangladesh), but will lose to the others.

Bangladesh - well, what can I say about my team of no hopers. Frankly, they are the most useless Test team at the moment and I won't be shocked if they manage to lose ALL of their matches. Bowlers are out of form, batsman are out of form - and this seems to be an on going issue. See what I wrote about them in 2004.

Wow. B'desh has won a cricket match. Finally! Yes, it was against Hong Kong, yes, they are amateurs, and yes, we could only score around 220 for 9. But what the hell, we ... BLOODY... WON!!!
Ofcourse the commentators were all praising Hong Kong's pluck, but me thinks sometimes B'desh is underestimated. They are good, just not good enough to knock off the bigger powers, but definitely there ahead of the non-test, and definitely now Zim and Windies are on the same rung. Here's hoping they do tonite to Pak what they way back did in 1999. Ah, one can always dream.

It seems, 11 years on, nothing has changed.

Afghanistan and Scotland make up the pool, and while they have enough pluck, they will need a lot of luck to knock out any of the top 4. For them, a victory or two will be enough to have a good World Cup.

South Africa, West Indies, India, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Ireland, United Arab Emirates

Now this is the more exiting pool. I can genuinely see South Africa, India and Pakistan easily qualify. The fourth team is going to be interesting. While it seems more or less likely that West Indies will make it, their unpredictability, and the strong performances of Ireland and Zimbabwe in recent times, might point to a shock.

South Africa should top the pool. And when I say should, I mean they probably will. Remember, they only start chocking once the group stages are done. They have batsmen in form, the world's best fast bowler and a dynamic fielding team. The pitches in Australia and New Zealand should suit their style of play. However, they won't win ALL of their matches.

This is an interesting pool because of Pakistan as well. They are completely unpredictable, but they are my dark horses for this tournament. I fully expect Pakistan to beat South Africa, and perhaps India, simply because Misbah is a good captain and Afridi seems to be on fire lately, and they have a decent team. So Pakistan will come in second in the group.

India should qualify third. They have been woefully out of form in Australia, and Rohit Sharma has scored his mandatory big score in between several small ones, and their main batting star is out of form. They will beat all the Associates and West Indies.

West Indies should make the fourth playoff position, but barely. They have the class and quality to beat anyone on their 'day', but their 'day's seem to be getting less and less frequent. They will be lucky to just hold off Ireland and Zimbabwe.

For Ireland and Zimbabwe, the games against each other and the ones against West Indies will be the ones they believe they can win. It will be an upset, but not that much of a shock, if one of them manages to qualify for the group stages in place of West Indies.

UAE - why are you even here?


South Africa vs. England

Pakistan vs. Sri Lanka

India vs. New Zealand

West Indies vs. Australia


Sarita @ it's my girls' world said...

Coming from the West Indies, I know nothing about cricket but I do hope that we make it :-)

rashed said...

Liking the look of quarter final lineups.

Tambi Dude said...

yeah great prediction about Pakistan. Why don't you limit your expertise to Quran and Islam.

Anonymous said...

you are wrong on you prediction it seems

mezba said...

@Sarita, looks like your team made it!

@Rashed, here's my quarter predictions:

@Tambi, well Pakistan made it.

@Anon, some yes, some no.

Here's my quarter predictions