CWC 15: Big Sri Lankan challenge awaits Australia

Australia is still a side looked at as big CWC contenders despite a tight squeeze in Pool A heading towards the finals.

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The Australian media slammed the performance of the side following their batting collapse and eventual narrow lose to New Zealand last Saturday.

Despite Australia’s bounce back coming against an associate nation, Australia returned to their dominant best yesterday against the U.A.E in Perth.

Posting 417 batting first, Australia never looked anything but certain and thumped the U.A.E by a record 275-runs.

Warner blasted 178, before Glenn Maxwell bashed 88.

Mitchell Johnson took 4 wickets with the ball, pace bowlers Josh Hazlewood and Mitch Starc joined with two wickets each.

Shane Watson has been dropped from the side for the returning power of James Faulkner, though Faulkner failed to deliver in his first match back.

Australia currently sit third in Pool A, and if they beat Sri Lanka on Sunday, will qualify for the quarter finals, where they could play South Africa, and if successful in that bout, a potential rematch with New Zealand back at Eden Park.

Sri Lanka are fresh off a dominant victory over England in Wellington last Sunday.

Sunday’s clash against Sri Lanka will be crucial for the Australian’s to win and win well.

CWC 2015: All in readiness

On the eve of the Cricket World Cup, a nation waits with patience and expectation.

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Form is on the Blackcaps side heading into tomorrow’s CWC opener in Christchurch, but with that said, the results so far this summer mean absolutely nothing either.

The Blackcaps are seen as one of the potential World Cup winners this year, something that hasn’t been said all that often in past tournaments with as much conviction.

Last night, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said “go well boys go well” passionately during the opening ceremony.

New Zealand as a country are behind the Blackcaps.

On form, good performances with both bat and ball have been more consistent than ever. New Zealand opener Martin Guptill has been improving innings after innings, and the form of Kane Williamson who bats at the crucial number three role is in career best.

Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor will both deliver with the bat, and the middle order is suited nicely with Corey Anderson and Luke Ronchi, both of whom batted well in the recent series prior to the CWC.

Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Adam Milne, Mitchell Mcclenaghan, and to a lesser extent Kyle Mills are all in form with the ball and can deliver wickets against any team.

Quite simply, this is a Blackcaps side that comes into the CWC in red hot form – capable of capturing the trophy.

Sri Lanka are a tough one first up. The side has been in New Zealand for the better part of a couple of months, and despite losing the recent series, signs were there that Sri Lanka may be the sub continent side that is most capable of performing well in foreign conditions.

Sri Lanka possess four main threats with the bat in the form of Dilshan, Jayawardene, Sangakarra, and Matthews.

There is also a deadly option with the ball in the form of Lasith Malinga.

The tagline is “greatness is contagious”, but the question remains of if the Blackcaps will be able to deliver that greatness right throughout cricket’s showcase tournament.