Author: Andrew Younger
Published: 10:54 13/09/2014
The Cricket world will head Down Under this winter as Australia and New Zealand host the ICC Cricket World Cup between 14 February and 29 March 2015.
The Aussies will be looking to claim an unprecedented fifth World Cup after relinquishing their grasp on the trophy in 2011.
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India, who were joint hosts back in 2011, won the tournament in favourable conditions but the fast, bouncy tracks in Australia and New Zealand will make it a tough ask to retain the title.
They will look to the 1992 competition for inspiration as another sub-continent side managed to conquer the fast tracks of Australia to win the tournament. On that occasion, it was a Wasim Akram inspired Pakistan who won the World Cup and they remain the last sub-continent team to win the tournament outside of Asia.
If India are to follow in the footsteps of that Pakistan team, they will have to do so without their talisman from not just the 2011 tournament but of the last 20 years.
Sachin Tendulkar rounded off a fairy tale career by leading India to the trophy in 2011, finishing the tournament with 482 runs from his 9 matches.
Now though, the baton has been passed to a new generation, which is lead by Virat Kohli.
The 25-year-old Kohli has already hit 19 ODI hundreds and you feel that if India are to retain their crown in conditions that don’t favour their batsmen, he has to fire.
Australia are the most successful side in World Cup history after their hat-trick of titles between 1999-2007 took their overall titles to four.
The Aussies have never been particularly good losers, so their Quarter-Final defeat to India in 2011 will be the only motivation they need to retain the trophy.
They are the early favourites for the competition and with Mitchell Johnson opening the bowling in conditions made for him, and Aaron Finch and Phil Hughes at the top of the order, they will take some stopping.
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