Tuesday, February 20, 2007

New Zealand for the World Cup?

Who'd be Matthew Hayden this morning? Battle a broken toe, which could potentially put you out of the World Cup, and move on to a record breaking 181*, only to see your side lose the game and be whitewashed in a one-day series for the first time in the best part of a decade.

Of course, the result of this is that several people are getting big on New Zealand, talking up their World Cup chances, all the while overlooking the Kiwi's remarkable talent for choking at the knock-out stage of any competition (vis-a-vis India's talent for merely choking in the final).

Along the same lines, Australia are now being written off in some quarters - now where have we seen that before? Anyone recall Australia's lead-up to and start at the 1999 tournament? 3-3 with a tie in the West Indies, followed by losses to New Zealand and Pakistan in the opening rounds. Write them off at your peril.

Time permitting, I'll post my thoughts on the various squads and their chances in the coming weeks leading up to the tournament. Suffice to say that I'm not betting against Australia, although I'm not certain that I'd bet on them either.

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