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The greatest strength lies in the fact that    seven. That is where the rubber so often      and steadiness under pressure. Angelo
they are genuine wicket-takers and are         meets the tar. Five down with a run-a-        Matthews as an all-rounder is more than
able to change the game in the space of an     ball needed and the pressure mounting         capable. Their spin department often
over. The flip-side of that is that at times   requires a cool and steady hand to be         builds pressure and astute captaincy is part
they give away to many runs in the quest       able to handle the immense scoreboard         of their make-up. However, the big fields
for that unplayable delivery.                  pressure. It goes about holding your nerve.   of Australia have often seen them battle to
	 Managing that risk and understanding         That skill is not acquired overnight and      create the same pressure as they do in the
the dynamic is what captain AB de Villiers     cannot be bought or borrowed. It’s a          subcontinent.
will find tough. The pitches will be good      process thing!                                	 Who can ever write off the men from
for batting, and the fields of Australia are                                                 the Caribbean! Chris Gayle is the name
large and difficult to defend once batsmen     Who are the other                             that many bowlers have on their mind
get set.                                       contenders?                                   whilst on the bus to a match against them.
	 It brings the next critical aspect in to                                                   In recent times many of them have chosen
play. That is fielding. My belief is that the  Naturally Australia and New Zealand           the shorter version of the game over Test
team who delivers in the field will have a     come into the reckoning as possible           cricket and ply their trade around the One
massive advantage. Opportunities behind        winners through the fact that home            Day world. Flair and passion come as a
the wicket are always created by the           conditions and home support will favour       guarantee with the West Indies and so
Proteas and on the big fields, accuracy and    them.                                         does inconsistency. I don’t believe they
throwing strength often see unexpected         	 Australia have run hot of late and          can go all the way due to their bowling not
wickets tumbling through poor running          with the likes of Warner, Watson and          being as experienced in tough situations.
between the wickets.                           Smith in form, their batting is explosive.    	 Somehow the current Indian One-
                                               Michael Clarke will return from an injury     Day team just doesn’t seem the complete
Proteas' batting                               period and whilst he is a top player, will    product anymore. However, with Virat
                                               find the going tough. Being under-done        Kholi in amazing form and with captain
Many will argue that the Proteas' batting      in form and needing to work hard during       Dhoni now focusing on the short game,
is their strength. With the top six all being  a massive tournament is never easy.           they may yet surprise. The bowling
experienced and able to cope with varying      Mitchell Johnson will be up there with        remains a worry on good pitches. Again,
conditions, this could be true. In Hashim      the fastest bowler at the tournament and      spin is a very important cog in their attack
Amla, Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers        is able to blow any top order away on the     and that isn’t expected to be a huge factor
there is maturity beyond years. Add the        day. His form will be absolutely critical to  in Australian conditions. Their fielding
flair of Quinton de Kock and David             the Australian cause.                         will also come under huge scrutiny.
Miller and it has a solid look about it. Yet   	 New Zealand always need a total team        	 The likes of Pakistan and England
somehow, in recent times, they have not        effort to win important games. In Brendon     seem very unsettled as teams go and have
quite been able to close out when it was       McCullum and Kane Williamson they             had their own issues of late that hasn’t
demanded. No-one doubts that with good         have two fine batsmen who can dominate        made building a team specifically for
form and some luck, they will deliver          an attack for a period of time. However,      the World Cup easy. Of course on their
more often than not. But it is when things     their bowling attack will need to really gel  day they have the players that can make
don’t quite go to plan in the early stages     for them to chain the other top sides when    life difficult for the top teams but overall
that unravelling occurs. The search for a      it counts. The one aspect they seem to        aren’t in my reckoning as serious title
Jacques Kallis replacement will go on for      always do better than most is to somehow      contenders. Zimbabwe and Bangladesh
the next fifty years. He was one of a kind.    hang in when the going is tough and           will not compete in the conditions Down
	 The greatest threat to the batting           absorb the pressure.                          Under or in the land of the long white
line-up not winning games when the             	 Sri Lanka are always dangerous              cloud!
pressure is really on is the fact that we      opponents and play big moments well.
lack an outright top finisher of matches       In Kumar Sangakarra and Mahele
in the order between number five and           Jawardene they have amazing experience

                                                          POOL A

New Zealand   Sri Lanka                        Australia  England      Bangladesh            Afghanistan  Scotland

                                                          POOL B

South Africa  India                            Pakistan   West Indies  Zimbabwe              Ireland      United Arab
                                                                                                            Emirates

                                                                                                          16CEMAIR Feb / Mar 2015
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