Ballance will also be part of England's team for the triangular series against Australia and…
An analytical review on England, Bangladesh and UAE’s squads ahead of the 2015 World Cup. World-Cup-collage World Cup collage
Analysing the World Cup Teams.
Expectations are the progeny of perceptions and more so in sports; in profiling two full-time members and one associate member, first we are looking at a team – of a nation that gave the world this beautiful sport but have nothing to show for except three second place trophies.
Then we move onto Bangladesh – a subcontinental minnow with high talent and low application. Bangladesh have been flattering to deceive since their ICC Trophy triumph in Malaysia in ’97. In a sport that is played by a handful of nations, everyone remembers who lost. Losses is something this team is pretty familiar with.
Many other teams have had an aberrant past before they steadied their boat – Bangladesh always make it look like consistency is just around the corner – but with a circular path corners are hard to come by. Meanwhile, as associate members are sending messages to ICC – UAE seem to be having the best courier service.
All Her Majesty’s Men
A stiff upper lip has helped her majesty’s kingdom survive and digest when it comes to Cricket. One could see Jeeves’ eyebrow raise itself more than once this time around though.They are not whispering in aisles anymore, they are shouting in the pubs. Giving Eoin Morgan the full-time captaincy was a bold and uncharacteristic move. Alistair Cook was looking more like a .32 Smith & Wesson in a battle of Uzis.
Along with Alex Hales and Ian Bell, Morgan will make an exciting batting line-up – taking nothing away from the likes of Moeen Ali, Joe Root and Ravi Bopara.
Yes, none of them are in prime batting form and even as a team England haven’t been showing assuring results coming to Australia for the preparatory series – but in the brief time they have been here, they do look very impressive.
In the past, Ashes have dampened their morale coming into World Cups, which is not happening this time. The bowling is top class and in as good a form as it can be with Anderson, Broad, Finn and Ali. Their combination is what England need to have a ponder about – who among the fringe can put their hand up for 40 runs and a wicket or two is a question Morgan and his men have to find an answer to.
The format does provide teams with a little latitude in terms of getting their combinations right and England ideally should hit it with their first match. Stuart Broad has talked about this being an exciting time to watch English Cricket and also the level of ‘a stinker’ it would have to be for England to not make it to the quarter finals. Never before has an English bowler been so right and so bold at the same time.
Squad: Eoin Morgan, Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Gary Balance, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Joe Root, James Taylor,
James Tredwell, Chris Woakes
The oldest newcomers
Rubel Hossain may prove to be Bangladesh’s trumpcard (getty images)
’99 was a charm, ’03 was a drab, ’07 was again a charm and ’11 was yet again a drab – predictions anyone? A team that has a record of losing most matches in a streak, Bangladesh will ride on hope of an upset or two. The team does have a decent blend of experience and youth.
A lot of their players are a part of the IPL and have garnered wealth of exposure there. Mushfiqur without the burden of captaincy can focus on contributing with gloves on – both in front and behind.
Sarkar promises to be the all-rounder any team desires and with the exuberance that they possess, everyone in the team should really look to rally around the experience of Mortaza. With only two pools, all sides will have a good number of matches to get their momentums and points and if Bangladesh do manage to play their cards really expertly, they could be looking at a quarter final berth.
Squad: Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), Shakib Al Hasan (vice-capt), Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque, Mominul Haque, Mahmudullah Riaz, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Nasir Hossain, Taijul Islam, Taskin Ahmed, Al-Amin Hossain, Rubel Hossain, Soumya Sarkar, Sabbir Rahman, Arafat Sunny
The associate nations, leaving every other typical problem aside, have a task of coming out from the moonlight – for most of the players, playing cricket is a secondary choice – a forced one mind you. UAE is no different. Even their leader was a moonlighting Emirati. This they have overcome for the world cup by naming Tauqir as the captain.
Whilst doing this, they haven’t let go of Khurram and rightly so. UAE too, have been punching above their weight and a string of very good results in the last year should raise their expectations.
They are competing in a World Cup after almost twenty years and they would be relishing at the prospects of rubbing shoulders with the giants – eventually hoping to bruise a couple even. They are a part of a pool that looks very ominous on paper, but UAE should ideally give Zimbabwe and Ireland a run for their money. UAE could even trouble some of their more famous pool members given their opponents’ romance with hara-kiri.
Squad: Mohammed Tauqir (capt), Khurram Khan (vice-capt), Swapnil Patil, Saqlain Haider, Amjad Javed, Shaiman Anwar, Amjad Ali, Nasir Aziz, Rohan Mustafa, Manjula Guruge, Andri Berenger, Fahad Al Hashmi, Muhammad Naveed, Kamran Shahzad, Krishna Karate
Looking at the recent Gayle-storm, ducking for cover when ABD was throwing his hat and a few kitchen sinks, when Finn and Starc made their mark, the defending champions clearly in haze, a clinical Anderson, a charging McCullum, and a nostalgic Afridi and Misbah – things seem to be coalescing towards a brilliant tournament.