February 1, 2011

ICC World Cup 2011 - SWOT Analysis : AUSTRALIA

Can he get his hat-trick?

   The period between 1998-2007, this team just could not do anything wrong. You could term that to be the 'GOLDEN ERA', undisputed champions of the world not just once but three consecutive world cup wins! add to that the '87 win courtesy Allan Border and his team. Well, times have changed, so have the men. The golden bunch have retired and made way to the young brigade who, have been struggling to continue the legacy. They aren't the feared opponents anymore like they were previously. They got beaten by Sri Lanka at home, burnt to Ashes by the Poms at home(Also!!). They have somehow clinched the 7 match ODI series and have avoided more humiliation. This series win might give them a moral boost as they leave to the sub-continent in a few days.
   "Cometh the hour, cometh the man" in this case men, umm.. Aussies if you don't call them men. They become a totally different side during the WC tournament. Take this for example: they have been undefeated for the last 29 WC games now and its just unbelievable!! Their squad is a mixed bag really, they have taken a back-up wicket keeper unlike most teams. But, Tim Paine sitting out for Brad Haddin is a shame really. Shaun Marsh, where is he? He's in the form of his life, still a genuine opening batsman cannot make it to a world cup, is a question the selectors haven't answered. Lee + Tait = handful, expect anyone to break down or fly home. And who the hell is John Hastings, anyways???

The 15 member squad looks like this: Shane Watson, Brad Haddin (wk), Ricky Ponting (capt), Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey, David Hussey, Cameron White, Tim Paine (wk), Steven Smith, John Hastings, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Hauritz, Brett Lee, Shaun Tait, Doug Bollinger. 

STRENGTHS: 
  • Shane Watson has been the pillar of strength for the team for quite some time now. His aggressive, yet cautious batting at the top combined with his wicket taking abilities with the ball has made him of the best all rounders in the world at present. As a result, the Australian team has looked more like Shane Watson + 10 other men on the field.
  • Ponting's comeback from injury should steady the wobbly middle order. If Mike Huss gets fit and makes it to the XI, it will be a totally different team then. 
  • #1 team in the world, they might have lost the top-spot in tests but, they are very much rule the roost in the ODI's. Add to  that the World Cup stage, they know how to run about their business.
WEAKNESS:
  • Where is the spinner in the side ?? Hauritz? Smith? Hell NO! When other teams are stacking their squads with at least a couple of front-line spinners, Cricket Australia does a reversal. The seamers such as the revived Mitch hell Johnson, Doug ginger Bollinger, Shane can do it all Watson, Brett come back from the dead Lee, Shaun has still got it Tait have done the job so far for them. Come the world cup, the team will need them even more.
  • Its been quite some time since the middle order contributed something useful. Clarke seems to be lost in a different world forever now. White and David Hussey haven't stepped up when needed and impressed either.
OPPORTUNITIES:
  • Its a make or break chance for Hauritz. He's another top-casualty in the injury list at the moment. If he doesn't make his captain happy this time, he better start looking for retirement plans PRONTO!
  • Its a huge stage for SPD Smith to perform. He has been sneaking away by scoring 20s and picking up a couple of wickets in the middle overs. This is the time for him to make it big and become a permanent member of the squad for at least a year or two.
  • Off Cricket, its a known fact Tait has had some mysterious psychological problem. Its the perfect place(India) for him to meet an Exorcist and kill the ghosts of his inconsistent past.
THREATS:
  • Injured Mike Huss is a big blow to the brewing problems for the Aussie mid-order. The current problem is that, their batting only 1 or 2 guys firing in a match. Sooner the problem is resolved, better for them.
  • They aren't the same juggernaut now, a few screws loose here & there. The team is highly dependent on the seamers for a while now, and its high time they raised their game as they have to fight it out against the top teams. Back the Aussies to do exactly that, as there is no better stage for the Aussies than the "world cup".
   Never take the yellow fellows lightly. Come the mother of all competitions, they pull up their socks and play the game at their best, as it should be played. In all world cup competitions they have won 51 out of their 69 games. Ricky's side might be a mixed-bag of sorts but, it has potential to be world champs. So, will Ricky get his 3rd world cup title as captain? Something, even Clive Lloyd and the mighty Windies failed to achieve. Ozzy, Ozzy, Ozzy...

3 comments:

  1. I remember Australia played a 7-match ODI series in India in 2009 and won it 4-2 with almost a third-string bowling attack. So one thing's for sure... they have the men for the job and they know it as well as we do!

    But in recent times, these men have not made their presence count. Their batting is prone to collapses once a good partnership is broken. Can they arrest their slide in this World Cup!?

    (P.S.: By the way, the last time that Australia DID NOT win the World Cup, it was held in the sub-continent!)

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  2. haha.. Shridhar that was a good one! cheers.

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  3. The ICC has announced the schedule for the 2011 World Cup of Cricket. This tournament will be played in the Indian sub-continent, with India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh as the hosts.

    http://www.sportsbun.com/icc-cricket-world-cup-2011-schedule-fixtures/

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