Cricket: Complete Guide To The World Cup

GUIDE TO THE COMPETING NATIONS;
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GUIDE TO THE COMPETING NATIONS

GROUP A

ENGLAND

The host nation's biggest problem is with their opening batsmen. Alec Stewart has endured a lean spell all year while Nick Knight scored 17 runs in the three warm-up matches. England can take heart from their bowlers, who efficiently disposed of Hampshire on Tuesday

A J Stewart (capt), I D Austin, R D B Croft, M A Ealham, A Flintoff, N H Fairbrother, A R C Fraser, D Gough, G A Hick, A J Hollioake, N Hussain, N V Knight, A D Mullally, G P Thorpe, V J Wells.

INDIA

The winners of the last World Cup final at Lord's, in 1983, will rely on their battery of seam and swing bowlers. And although they are underdogs on recent form, they have a strong nucleus of four batting all-rounders, Tendulkar, Jadeja, Ganguly and Singh.

M Azharuddin (capt), A D Jadeja, S C Ganguly, S R Tendulkar, S Ramesh, R S Dravid, R R Singh, N R Mongia, A B Agarkar, A Kumble, J Srinath, B K Venkatesh Prasad, N Chopra, A R Khurasia, D S Mohanty.

KENYA

Kenya's batting is their strong suit. Ravindu Shah (twice) Kennedy Otieno and Maurice Odumbe have hit warm-up half-centuries, and although Steve Tikolo, their only professional, failed in those games, Kenya will be banking on his sense of the big occasion.

Asif Karim (capt), M O Odumbe, S O Tikolo, R Shah, H S Modi, T Odoyo, K Otieno, A Vadher, M Suji, A Suji, S K Gupta, J Angara, J Kamande, M Sheikh, D Chudasama.

SOUTH AFRICA

With all-rounders Jacques Kallis, Shaun Pollock and Lance Klusener, the acrobatic fielding of Jonty Rhodes and Allan Donald's pace bowling, South Africa are firm favourites. After thrashing West Indies 5-0 in Tests and 6-1 in a one-day series earlier this year and then going on to beat New Zealand, confidence is justified.

W J Cronje (capt), S M Pollock, D M Benkenstein, N Boje, M V Boucher, D N Crookes, D J Cullinan, A A Donald, S Elworthy, H H Gibbs, J H Kallis, G Kirsten, L Klusener, A C Dawson, J N Rhodes.

SRI LANKA

Recognising that the almost reckless approach towards the first 15 overs that brought them the last World Cup will not work here, Sri Lanka have changed the formula for their opening game, with a three-man seam attack and Roshan Mahanama opening the batting.

A Ranatunga (capt), P A de Silva, S T Jayasuriya, M S Atapattu, D P M Jayawardene, R S Mahanama, R S Kalu-witharana, H P Tillakaratne, M Mura- litharan, W P U J C Vaas, G P Wickramasinghe, E A Upashantha, U D U Chan- dana, U C Hathurusinghe, R S Kalpage.

ZIMBABWE

Zimbabwe go into their opening game accused of "schoolboy batting" by coach David Houghton. They have looked more effective in the field, with Eddo Brandes bowling staunchly.

A D R Campbell (capt), A Flower, G W Flower, N C Johnson, M W Goodwin, S V Carlisle, H H Olonga, M Mbangwa, H H Streak, A G Huckle, P A Strang, D P Viljoen, E A Brandes, A R Whittall, G J Whittall.

GROUP B

AUSTRALIA

After losing in the final last time to Sri Lanka, the Australians will be determined to maintain their focus this year. The strength in depth in their experienced squad justifies their proximity to the South Africans as the favourites.

S R Waugh (capt), S K Warne, M G Bevan, A C Dale, D W Fleming, A C Gilchrist, B P Julian, S Lee, D S Lehmann, G D McGrath, T M Moody, D R Martyn, R T Ponting, P R Reiffel, M E Waugh.

BANGLADESH

Will have to hope that a weak attack is compensated for by the batting of the in-form opening pair of Mehrab Hossain (who recently became the first Bangladeshi to hit a one-day century) and Shahriar Hossain, plus the experienced Akram Khan.

Aminul Islam (capt), Shahriar Hossain, Mehrab Hossain, Khaled Mahmud, Faruk Ahmed, Akram Khan, Naimur Rahman, Khaled Mashud, Enamul Hoque, Mohammad Rafique, Neeyamur Rashid, Jahangir Alam, Manjural Islam, Shafiuddin Ahmed, Hasibul Hussain.

NEW ZEALAND

New Zealand occupy that paradoxical territory of being the underdogs whom many people fancy to go far in the tournament. The conditions will suit them (they came from winter at home, which is similar), and three warm-up wins will not have hurt.

S P Fleming (capt), N J Astle, M J Horne, C D McMillan, R G Twose, C L Cairns, A C Parore, C Z Harris, D J Nash, D L Vettori, M N Hart, S B Doull, G R Larsen, C E Bulfin, G I Allott.

PAKISTAN

Wasim Akram may be nearing the end of his illustrious career and his pace may not instil the fear it once did, but his influence is sure to be instrumental in Pakistan's progress. Wasim may lack some agility, but he compensates with experience and could motivate his side to the last four.

Wasim Akram (capt), Saeed Anwar, Shahid Afridi, Wajahatullah Wasti, Inzamam- ul-Haq, Ijaz Ahmed, Salim Malik, Yousuf Youhana, Moin Khan, Saqlain Mushtaq, Mushtaq Ahmed, Shoaib Akhtar, Waqar Younis, Azhar Mahmood, Abdul Razzaq.

SCOTLAND

Scotland has only 11,000 cricketers and, apart from three players who earn their money playing for English county sides, the rest of the squad is drawn from Scottish club teams. A two-run defeat against Durham last Saturday and a five-wicket reverse at the hands of Yorkshire on Wednesday hardly inspire confidence.

G Salmond (capt), M J de G Allingham, J A R Blain, J E Brinkley, Asim Butt, A G Davies, N R Dyer, G M Hamilton, B M W Patterson, I L Philip, K L P Sheridan, M J Smith, I M Stanger, P D Steindl, J G Williamson.

WEST INDIES

The fitness of Brian Lara may determine whether the West Indies will mount a strong challenge or not. An 89-run victory over Surrey at The Oval on Wednesday may have been a boost to confidence, but the World Cup it was not.

B C Lara (capt), S Chanderpaul, R Powell, S C Williams, R D Jacobs, S L Campbell, K L T Arthurton, P V Simmons, C E L Ambrose, C A Walsh, J C Adams, H Bryan, M V Dillon, N O Perry, R D King.

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