England managed to "break the ice" with their first win against the Aussies since arriving back in November! I heard comments on the ABC coverage saying this performance leaves many questions unanswered about the current Australian side.
That is because the only answer they are looking for is that "Australia are going to dominate the upcoming World Cup"
or "Australia are going to maintain the current gap between them and the rest of the world"
- this is not the case and that is why if they keep searching for this answer, it will remain unanswered.
Australia are favourites to win right now...sure! But are they dead set certainties - of course not, and people seem to delight in pointing this out. It's not big revelation really. They won the last World Cup as favourites, but if not for a couple of huge individual efforts, they would not have - Symonds vs Pakistan, Ponting in the final to name just two, completely changed the face of those games - now lets remember back to the Cup before that, in England, Australia shouldn't have made it - Pakistan were run away favourites, and probably should've been playing South Africa in the final. So why, with many of Australia's stars now 8 years old than back in England are people so keen to point out how we've slipped? I'm not sure. All I know is, while favourites, they are not certainties. If they weren't certainties in either of the last two world cups, why would they be this time.
I think this current side is more susceptible to an opposition that is just "on" - as indeed England were yesterday. The batting line up is more suspect under pressure and the bowling not quite as deep. That's not to say that any of these players can't be part of a World Champion side - of course they can, but in my opinion, so could a side containing Tendulkar and Dravid, or Flemming and Bond, Kallis and Ntini or Pietersen and Flintoff.
The World Cup in March, will, like all others have it's disappointments (sides that just don't perform like they should - South Africa last time) and it's surprise packets. My tip is still, Australia but again, not as condident as I was about this last time.
(As usual - cross posted on STUmpcam
Labels: 2007 world cup, Commonwealth Bank Series, world cup