2 matches will be played tomorrow. First encounter will between old neighbours Australia and New Zealand. If we talk about these two countries on the basis of form then I believe Australia will have upper-hand in this encounter and looks good to register easy win over New Zealand. In ICC ODI Rankings, Australia is currently No.1 team and New Zealand is sitting at No.7 spot. So difference between the two teams is huge. In fact recent performances of both the teams also justify their positions as Australia coming to this tournament with comprehensive ODI series win over England at home while New Zealand lost their home-series against Pakistan. But one thing is common between both the teams, both teams have defeated their opponents in their respective opening matches. Australia defeated Zimbabwe and New Zealand defeated Kenya.
Australia looks far more dangerous than New Zealand at the moment and favourites to win the contest as they possess two deadly fast bowlers in Lee and Tait while their other bowlers in Johnson and Bollinger also bowling well and bowling with reasonable pace and accuracy. Australia is lacking in spin department as they have only Jason Krejza to survive with. If talking about Australian batting then I must say except Shane Watson none of their top batsmen are in good form. Haddin, Ponting, Clarke, Fergusson, White, David Hussey, all struggling for runs and they are badly missing services of Mike Hussey who was their mainstay in middle-order but unfortunately out of the World Cup because of injury. But make no mistake Australia can beat any team in the world even with the half team.
Ricky Ponting(Captain), Michael Clarke(Vice-Captain), Shane Watson, Steve Smith, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, White, Brad Haddin(WK), Tim Paine(WK), Nathan Hauritz, Mitchell Johnson, Doug Bollinger, Brett Lee, Shaun Tait, John Hastings. Tim Nielsen(Coach)
New Zealand's situation is very bad at the moment. They lost last 3 ODI series in a row and looks completely out of sorts. Although they won their opening match against Kenya convincingly but that cannot hide their weak links. They are clearly struggling but good thing for them is their bowling. Southee, Bennett and Vettori makes formidable bowling attack and if their batsmen score few runs then I feel they can win any game and can advance to semis as well. Form of Ross Taylor is big worry for New Zealand. He is their star batsmen and its important that he hits the form if New Zealand have to make some impact in the tournament. At the moment Taylor is having few technical flaws against spin which he needs to rectify immediately if he wants to do well on sub-continent pitches. He has to play on front -foot and have to use his feet if he wants to hit the sub-lime form. Overall Kiwi batting is bit dodgy and they rely heavily on Guptill and McCullum to give them good start, if both openers will give them good start then I feel Kiwis can post or chase any total.
Daniel Vettori(Captain), Hamish Bennett, James Franklin, Martin Guptill, Jamie How, Brendon McCullum(WK), Nathan McCullum, Jacob Oram, Jesse Ryder, Tim Southee, Scott Styris, Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson, Luke Woodcock, Kyle Mills. John Wright(Coach)
Another encounter will be between Bangla Tigers and minnows Ireland. Here I think Bangladesh will have upper hand because they are playing at home and nowadays they are very capable team atleast at home. They did very well in their opening match against India where they almost chased the huge Indian total. Situation will be different against Ireland and I believe Bangla spinners will not allow Ireland's batting to score too many runs.
Bangla batting is in great form as Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes have become more than reliable openers for them in the shorter version of the format. As far as Ireland is concerned I must say they will gain good experience of playing in sub-continent but cannot win many matches but one cannot deny upsets. So important match for Bangladesh to stay in hunt for quarter-finals.
Shakib Al Hasan(Captain), Tamim Iqbal(Vice-Captain), Mushfiqur Rahim(WK), Abdur Razzak, Naeem Islam, Nazmul Hossain, Imrul Kayes, Raqibul Hasan, Rubel Hossain, Junaid Siddique, Mahmuddulah, Mohammad Ashraful, Shafiul Islam, Shahriar Nafees, Suhrawadi Shuvo. Jamie Siddons(Coach)
William Porterfield(Captain), Niall O'Brien(WK), Gary Wilson(WK), Kevin O'Brien John Mooney, Ed Joyce, Nigel Jones, Andrew White, Albert Van Der Merwe, Trent, George Dockrell, Paul Stirling, Alex Cusack, Boyd Rankin, Andre Botha. Phil Simmons(Coach)