Australia will start the World Cup as one of the favorites because of two reasons. Firstly, they have home advantage and if all goes well for them they will play all their matches until the final in their own country.. Secondly, they are the number 1 ranked team in the ICC ODI rankings and have been in supreme ODI form having lost just 3 ODI matches since February 2014. The biggest concern for them was the fitness of Micheal Clarke who has been included in the squad depending on his fitness but George Bailey and even Steven Smith have stepped up to the plate and lead the side brilliantly in his absence. On the wickets that support seam bowling Australia has perhaps the most dangerous bowling attack that includes Pat Cummins, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, while to support them they have the medium pace all rounders in Shane Watson and James Faulkner who can be extremely dangerous with the bat too. With openers like Aaron Finch and David Warner, and a middle order that includes Steven Smith, Mitchell Marsh and Glenn Maxwell, they have more than a capable squad to win the World Cup, the only worry being if they can handle the pressure of being the host nation and carrying the favorites tag.
Overall Performance in World Cups: Played 76, Won 55, Lost 19, Tied 1, No Result 1. Winning Percentage 73.02
Until December no one was giving England any chance of performing well during the World Cup 2015 having won just 9 out of 25 ODI matches last year, the chances are slim even now but appointment of the aggressive Eoin Morgan as captain and inclusion of some young blood have got England going and they have been performing well in the current Tri Series in Australia. Although winning the World Cup is going to be difficult for them because most of their players are inexperienced. They will have to depend heavily on experienced players like James Anderson and Stuart Broad in the bowling department, their fast bowlers have performed brilliantly over the last couple of years taking most wickets in the first 10 overs. Stuart Broad and Steven Finn both have pace and bounce and their best chance of winning is their bowling. While in the batting department Eoin Morgan along with Ian Bell will have to perform exceptionally. Technically strong player like Joe Root and aggressive youngsters like James Taylor, Moin Ali, Alex Hales and Jos Buttler will for sure make England competitive and less boring to watch in shorter format this time around.
Overall Performance in World Cups: Played 66, Won 39, Lost 25, Tied 1, No Result 1. Winning Percentage 59.84
They are currently ranked number 2 and If this World Cup was being played in the subcontinent India would have been by far the favorites to retain the crown. Their strong batting lineup is capable of chasing down any score which is the reason why they are entering the World Cup as favorites but a few injury problems, poor form of some batsmen and an extremely average bowling attack will make it very difficult for India to win this World Cup especially when they will have to face good pace attacks like of South Africa and Australia. MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma will be more than handful, Ajinke Rahane and Shikar Dhawan can score big on their day and India chasing a score will always have a chance of winning the match but because spinners wont play a big role in this World Cup and their bowling attack has no one notable to be named except for R Ashwin. Muhammad Shami and Umesh Yadav are quick but extremely inconsistent. The one big advantage that India have is they have been in Australia for good couple of months now and must be accustomed to the conditions. With all the problems they have in their bowling you still can't see India not reaching the semi final.
Overall Performance in World Cups: Played 67, Won 39, Lost 26, Tied 1, No Result 1. Winning Percentage 58.96
There is something about New Zealand and global Cricket events where they always tend to perform well and this time is no different, they are perhaps in the form of their life as a team. Beating Pakistan in UAE and Sri Lanka comprehensively at home they are high on confidence, everything is clicking for them at the right time and they will be the team to watch. Although they are one of the host nation during this World Cup but they will have to face less pressure than Australia. What makes them dangerous is their abundance of all rounders in the team, their aggressiveness and their peculiar grounds which are small and shapeless which makes it very difficult for the visiting teams to get accustomed to. Brendon McCullum is leading the team well as it dangerous as ever with the bat, Martin Guptill, Corey Anderson, Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson make up the batting lineup, Luke Ronchi showed how dangerous he can be with the bat both vs Pakistan and Sri Lanka recently, but what makes them more potent is their bowling attack which includes the pacey Adam Milne, Tim Southee, Trent Boult and ever dependable Daniel Vettori. They have reached the semi final of World Cups 6 out of 10 times but that is their problem as well, not reaching the final even once.
Overall Performance in World Cups: Played 70, Won 40, Lost 29, Tied 0, No Result 1. Winning Percentage 57.14
Currently 7th in the ODI table, Pakistan will enter the World Cup with their lowest ever ranking. No Saeed Ajmal makes a big difference for Pakistan, his experience, his wicket taking abilities and his overs in the powerplay will be something Pakistan will miss. Things have not been clicking well for Pakistan with Junaid Khan still injured is a big loss, Ehsan Adil and Sohail Khan are too inexperienced for such a big global event. Muhammad Hafeez still has to go through a retest of his bowling which makes Muhammad Irfan Pakistan's biggest asset in this World Cup along with Shahid Afridi. Pakistan will be heavily dependent on Younis Khan and Misbah ul Haq in the batting department who will have to carry the load, rotating the strike while players like Sohaib Maqsood, Umar Akmal and Sarfaraz Ahmad will be the aggressors in the team. Ahmad Shehzad and Muhammad Hafeez will have to make sure they give Pakistan a good start. Pakistan will regain some of their team shape if Hafeez is allowed to bowl again which will be a big boost for them. All in all Pakistan will be riding their luck throughout the tournament, if they are able to reach the quarter-finals then anything can happen and on their day, no matter what the conditions and who the opponents are they can do the unthinkable. Just like last World Cup Pakistan the tournament without a favorites tag which may well help them.
Overall Performance in World Cups: Played 64, Won 36, Lost 26, Tied 0, No Result 2. Winning Percentage 56.25
Once again South Africa enter a World Cup as the strongest team, once again they are the favorites, they are the most consistent team on overseas tours but the main issue is, will they choke once again? AB de Villiers is in the form of his life and perhaps the best batsman in World Cricket today. Hashim Amla is ever dependable and barely fails to score runs. Their new addition Rilee Rossouw and the attacking David Miller have scored their first centuries recently and are high on confidence, JP Duminy and de Kock are dangerous batsmen as well. Their strength still lies in their bowling department that has Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Vernon Philander who can all swing and seam the ball and Australian conditions suit them. South Africa always have performed generally well in Australia they recently beat Australia 4-1 in Australia. Their group is relatively easy from their point of view with they having to face India, Pakistan and West Indies which they will fancy beating so their main test will start in the knockout stages. They have everything to win the World Cup but for them it will depend on how mentally strong they are and can they get rid of the chokers tag.
Overall Performance in World Cups: Played 47, Won 30, Lost 15, Tied 2, No Result 0. Winning Percentage 65.95
Sri Lanka have been the most consistent team in the last 3 World Cups. Reaching the final twice in 2007 and 2011 while playing the semi final in 2003 but they fail to win when it matters. They will be heavily depended on the trio of senior players Kumara Sangakara, Mahela Jayawardene and Tilkarathne Dilshan who are all playing their last World Cup, thier Captain Angelo Mathews has come off age in the past one year and performing well but their problem like India is their bowling lineup. They don't have a single experienced bowler in the lineup if Lasith Malina fails to get fit for the World Cup, even if he is fit he is coming back after a knee operation so there won't be any high expectations. Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Thisara Parera can bat an will have to help the big three of their team but their bowlers like Dhamika Parasad, Suranga Lakmal and Nuwan Kulasekara will have to perform exceptionally if they are to stand any chance of reaching the semi final especially keeping in mind their recent poor performance in India and New Zealand. Sri Lanka's biggest strength though is the fact that they always play as a team, but will it be enough to take them all the way?
Overall Performance in World Cups: Played 66, Won 31, Lost 32, Tied 1, No Result 2. Winning Percentage 47.72
Another World Cup and another West Indies team which has no hopes of winning the World Cup. With all that has been going within the West Indies cricket their biggest loss is the dropping of Pollard and Bravo which gave West Indies a little bit of x factor. They will be dependent on Chris Gayle for his explosive starts but except for Darren Sammy and Marlon Samuels and maybe Dwayne Smith they don't have any dependable batsman in the team and this will cost them a lot on the Australian wickets. They have an inexperienced captain which makes things that much more difficult for them, what made things worst was that their most dangerous bowler Sunil Narine had to pull out of the World Cup just a week ago. They do have Kemar Roach and Jerome Taylor who can bowl real quick but the supporting bowlers are not good enough. With team likes Ireland, Zimbabwe and UAE in the group you will fancy them reaching the knockout stages but you don't fancy them reaching the semi finals.
Overall Performance in World Cups: Played 64, Won 38, Lost 25, Tied 0, No Result 1. Winning Percentage 59.37