Cricket World Cup 2015: Prepare for most open tournament to date

Sam Rogers takes a look ahead to the forthcoming 2015 Cricket World Cup

By Sam Rogers

In the five decades, the cricket World Cup has been part of the sport’s landscape, there have been many dominant performances and overriding favourites going into the tournament.

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This year though could prove to be one of the hardest to call tournaments since its inception. The beauty of the World Cup is that it never fails to throw up some classic match-ups, continuing bitter and long-standing rivalries in the interim.

England, for example, who have been in disarray in coloured clothing of late, take on Australia in only the second game of the tournament, while Asian juggernauts India and Pakistan will lock horns in the group stage.

One of the most intriguing matches will be between co-hosts Australia and New Zealand, with the black caps an outside bet for a run at the title this year. For many years a perennial whipping boy in all forms of cricket, New Zealand, under Brendan McCullum have been going quietly about their business in recent months.

They have been taking some big scalps in the longest form especially, but are finding a balance that is turning them into a brilliant collective unit. It is that unity that really sets them apart, because unlike some of the bigger teams, New Zealand seem to be playing for each other and all pulling in the same direction – a very dangerous quality to have during a World Cup.

It is a quality that is being displayed in the England team albeit to lesser extent at the moment. England have all but had any hopes of achieving written off before they even boarded the plane, but that in itself could be dangerous.

On paper, they have been disastrous in limited overs cricket and all odds point to yet another demoralising defeat. Under Eoin Morgan though, they seem to have been galvanised, and although they slipped to defeat against Australia, if – and it is a massive if, England can get a couple of positive results they could indeed cause some shocks at this tournament.

Certainly not enough to win it but maybe act as kingmakers for sure. What happens at this stage is still unknown but it is set up perfectly for a brilliant tournament.

Favourites – Australia

Surprise Package – New Zealand

Leading Runscorer – David Warner

Leading wicket-taker – Trent Boult

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