Group B of the world cup on paper looks a slightly more comfortable affair for the more established cricket nations. Saying this Ireland are a side that can cause major upsets. Their record at world cups is pretty good for a non test playing nation. I feel that after the world cup they should have been slowly introduced to the big league of world cricket. This is a story for another day.
Star Man: Dale Stein/AB de Villers (I could not choose either over the other)
Watch out for: Quentin de Kock
If there is one side who can spoil Australia’s party in a home world cup, it would be South Africa. Before they do that they will have to shake off their title as chokers. They have had an outstanding squad at world cups since 1999 where they were the best side, before Klusner threw away the match. I feel that it could all be different with De Villiers as captain, although I thought the same about Smith before him. Predictions: Final
Star Man: Virat Kholi
Watch Out For: Jadeja (If fit – If not then Aksar Patel will be an exciting deputy)
I personally think that defending this world cup will be tough for India. Australia has not always been a happy hunting ground for them in the past. Dohni is back in the side as captain after his test cricket retirement. The exciting batting line up is something that I look forward to seeing, the bowling will have to step up a little though. Jade is one of India’s best players in all three departments at the moment. There is a huge injury doubt over him, if he is fit then it will lift India. Do not be surprised to see Aksar Patel given a chance to deputise if he is not fit. At 20 years he is definitely one who will be a star in the future. Predictions: Semi Final
Star Man: Shahid Afridi
Watch Out For: Ahmed Shehzad
If history repeats its self then they are destined to win this world cup. This being that they won their first world cup the world cup after India had won their first. This co-incidentally happened to be in Australia. For me they will not repeat history at this world cup. Unfortunately for them they are carrying a number of players in the side who are above the age of 35. The captain Misbah being the oldest at 40. The players who are not above 35 all seem to be rather inexperienced. It will be an interesting watch to see if Pakistan can get their game together. Predictions: Quarter Finals
Star Man: Chris Gayle
Watch Out For: Sunil Narine
Even though we all know they have not picked the correct side they are still dangerous opposition for any team. We know by there win in the T20 World cup a few years back that they can beat any team. Much will depend on Chris Gayle and Sunil Narine, especially after DJ Bravo and Pollard had been left out. Sammy is in the squad but not the captain, this honour goes to 23 year old Jason Holder. Samuels is the other experienced player in the squad. Predictions: Quarter Finals
NB: There is also Zimbabwe, Ireland and UAE in this group.
Click here to see group A.