December 15th, 2010
12:32 PM ET

Will Australia's one-day cricket reign end in 2011?

England's cricketers will be seeking to win the 50-over World Cup for the first time next year.
England's cricketers will be seeking to win the 50-over World Cup for the first time next year.

CNN's World Sport will be broadcasting its predictions for 2011 in upcoming shows between December 31-January 2. In the third of a series of preview blogs, Terry Baddoo takes a look at the contenders for next year's Cricket World Cup.

On present form, I wouldn’t put much money on Australia claiming their fourth consecutive World Cup title next year. In fact, in their current state of mind it’s going to take a Herculean effort for the Aussies to even make a fist of it on the Indian sub-continent when the four-yearly event starts in late February.

At the time of writing, not only do they trail England in the Ashes series, but there seems to be a massive loss of confidence in their leadership, with serious questions being asked about skipper Ricky Ponting for the first time I can remember. But the one-day game is not Test cricket, and if it becomes a question of guts, you cannot rule the Aussies out - especially as they are still the top-ranked team in the 50-over format.

Australia's current nemesis, England, have never won the World Cup, but are as well-placed as anyone to break their duck. They won the Twenty20 World Cup, and have that swashbuckling X-factor in the shape of an in-form Kevin Pietersen, who recalls the halcyon days of the great Ian Botham in his ability to rise to the big occasion.

Home advantage will obviously be a factor for India and Sri Lanka. The Indians have had a mixed year in the lead-up to the World Cup despite retaining their place as the world's top team in the five-day game, though they’ve emerged with a blend of youth and experience with lots of competition for places that could undoubtedly make them a force.

That said, several big names have said they fear that India may buckle under the weight of expectation from their passionate home fans, who, if the razzle-dazzle of the Indian Premier League Twenty20 competition is anything to go by, will surely turn this tournament into a festival and a pressure cooker for their own team.

Sri Lanka will be under slightly less pressure, as they host only 12 of the matches, while India get 29 and Bangladesh just eight. The Sri Lankans will nonetheless be expected to shine. And while I’ve read that some experts believe they’re not consistent enough to go all the way, they’re currently third in the ODI world rankings, behind Australia and India, so must be doing something right.

South Africa are just behind them in fourth, and some have the Proteas as dark-horse title contenders. They certainly won’t lack for preparation, as their grandly-named “Operation World Cup” has expressly focused on producing a side that can end their long wait for a first success in the tournament.

Pakistan, who were stripped of hosting rights for security reasons, also have the bit between their teeth, and recently held a special week-long training camp which focused heavily on their ailing batsman. They’ll precede the World Cup with three Twenty20 matches, two Test matches and six one-dayers in New Zealand, and will arrive ready, willing, if not 100% able to lift the World Cup for the second time.

So, which of these teams will lift the trophy? Or will it be none of the above? After all, I didn’t even mention New Zealand or two-time winners the West Indies. Well, I’m not going to profess any inside knowledge, and I'm willing to bow to those who follow the game more closely than I do.

All the same, I'm going with my gut. This is England’s year. Unless, of course, you know different.

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soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Reddy

    Good Article, Its true about India, Srilanka and Australia. I don't hesitate to believe that SA will be on better contender. I would place them ahead of srilanka and India. Its going to be either England or South Africa.

    December 16, 2010 at 1:59 am | Reply
  2. MnM

    I say Sri Lanka will face India in the Final. It will be hard to pick a winner but I have a gutsy feeling that Sri Lanka will come above India.Last time when the world cup was held in sub continent Sri Lanka came out of no where to clinch the trophy and the current Sri Lankan side is much better and experienced than the 96 winning team.
    Though the current English team is a well balanced one I don't believe that they will go beyond semis.

    December 16, 2010 at 4:13 am | Reply
  3. Shaon Ghosh

    Being an Indian, I would love to see an Indian victory. But as the article pointed out, home crowd can be a double edged sword. India has near perfect mixture of youth and experience and a very strong bench, but time and again we have underperformed in world cup whenever we were viewed as the favorites. Everytime we have performed well in the WC it had been when we were not taken 'seriously'. 1983 was all about West Indies, and in 2003 we were just after a humiliating tour of New Zealand. I am sorry to say this, but I think we are the original chokers not South Africa when it comes to WC. I would put my money on South Africa or England to win the next year's tournament, both never won it before so it will be nice to see them getting the crown (Tired of seeing Australia winning it anyways :D)... but I will cheer for India.

    December 16, 2010 at 4:52 am | Reply
  4. thilina

    Sri lanka is the all we hope........ they have the best team. they have their superb own grounds.

    December 20, 2010 at 5:57 am | Reply
  5. Indika

    i think sri lanka has good chance to win the WC this time unless they pick the 'right' combination. also we can't neglect that the SL team has the world's best bowling attak right now.

    December 21, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Reply
  6. Kaushik Sarkar

    It's unlikely that Australia will retain the ICC WC in 2011. It can be won by any of the teams Indi, Sri Lanka or South Africa. Australia has not been doing good recently, and has been battered left right and centre everywhere. Although a bunch of good players, but the team is yet to recuperate from the retirement of the greats. India being # 2 ODI team (#1 Test team too) stand a great chance, also having a home advantage. Only concern has been though that India has not been successful in the last 3 ICC organised tournaments. (Last two T20 WCs and the Champions trophy). SL and SAF are strong teams at present and are good centenders too. I dont see any other team besides these 3.

    December 26, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Reply
  7. Gurpreet Singh

    I strongly believe that this time during the world cup it would be either South Africa or England lifting the trophy. Home advantage is there with India but as said it would be double edged sword. If you look at Indian team closely you will find that their strength is batting but you can't win matches with only batsman in your side. You need to have a good bowlers as well. At present ,I do not find any quality fast bowler in Indian side other than Zaheer Khan and when it comes to spin department we need to take a tough call. It would be good for the team if we can have R Ashwin playing eleven instead of Harbhajan Singh. Its always better if we can go with the present form rather than stats or past performance. I find South Africa and England a well balanced side compare to sri lanka or India. To conclude I would put my money on South Africa.

    December 27, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Reply
  8. Mohamed Z. Rahaman

    South Africa and England should be favorites to win the WC. India weakness is in it's bowling. Australia is on it's way down but may still make the semis. Sri Lanka is getting old and bowling is also weak. Bangladesh which just swept New Zealand could surprise a few teams. West Indies (my home team) and New Zealand will be lucky to win a few games. Pakistan is another story.. they could lose every game and then again win every game. Or they they can barely sneak in the semis as they did in their only WC win and then win it all again. Watch out for them if Mohamed Amer gets back in the team.

    December 29, 2010 at 3:17 am | Reply
  9. AJ

    Dear Baddoo

    I must confess that I knew less about you, than your proclamation about how much you know about cricket. I did go to wikipedia and now know what qualifies you to write this article. I am impressed, especially with the genius approach of "....This is England’s year...." as final qualification for your article. I am sure this has got nothing to do with the fact you live in London. Just one question- do you realize that the year changes in between? So there is a need for a grammatical correction, it should be years rather than year.

    December 30, 2010 at 10:03 pm | Reply
  10. Dr. Cajetan Coelho

    Indian batters, bowlers and fielders are having a great time against all types of bowlers both on home soil and even away. The MSD led Team India looks capable of lifting the World Cup for the second time in history.

    January 13, 2011 at 10:53 am | Reply
  11. ravi kumar.k

    Hi, buddies this time for india see how they will rock sri lanka will not reach for semi also. For final's india vs england 2011 WORLD CUP

    January 17, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Reply
  12. subash chandra ghandi

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    January 17, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Reply
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    September 4, 2011 at 10:03 am | Reply

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