Betting Tips You Can Count On!

BettingChoice Exclusives

  • Betting Tips
  • Free Bet Offers

Australia Seek To Open Title Defence In Style


Defending champions Australia open their World Cup campaign against minnows Zimbabwe in Ahmedabad.

For the first time in a cricketing generation, Australia enter into the competition without the favourites tag to weigh them down, and while the expectations of their fans will still be high, a fourth consecutive world title seems a long way off.

Zimbabwe is a team in transition. The past year has finally seen some stability added to its mix and with a rapidly maturing unit, this XI will be fully aware of its strengths and how to play to them.

Australia clearly remains amongst one of the best ODI outfits in world cricket.

However, after the 6-1 demolition of England in its recent ODI series, the unit was well below par in their two warm ups against India and South Africa.

While the pitch has a slightly grassy look to it, many feel that the slower bowler will dominate here. Recent history suggests that conditions could also favour the batsmen.

Zimbabwewill be buoyed by the fact that their most recent confrontations against Australia have both resulted in wins. They managed to beat a formidable Australian team in the World Twenty20 in 2007, and also took a closely-fought encounter in the warm up leading into the same competition in 2010.

Australia (probable): 1 Shane Watson, 2 Brad Haddin (wk), 3 Ricky Ponting (capt), 4 Michael Clarke, 5 David Hussey, 6 Cameron White, 7 Steve Smith, 8 Mitchell Johnson, 9 John Hastings, 10 Brett Lee, 11 Shaun Tait.

Zimbabwe (probable): 1 Brendan Taylor, 2 Charles Coventry, 3 Regis Chakabva, 4 Tatenda Taibu (wk), 5 Craig Ervine, 6 Sean Williams, 7 Elton Chigumbura (capt), 8 Prosper Utseya, 9 Graeme Cremer, 10 Ray Price, 11 Chris Mpofu.

Zimbabwe's batsmen will struggle against a seething pace attack that they are not quite used to, and if a player of Lee or Tait’s calibre gets past the top order; the lower order will fold quickly.

This was underlined earlier in the week when Brett Lee stated: "The pitch is a massive part of the equation. But if you have a bowler like Tait bowling around 160 km/h at the batsmen's toes, it doesn't matter where you are playing. It is still going to hit the batsmen on the full."

After an out-of-form last few months, Elton Chigumbura finally seems to have found a vein of form- registering an 81-ball 103 against Ireland during Zimbabwe's warm-ups.

Look to back Ricky Ponting to top score. Ponting has been in sublime form after having been away from the game nursing a broken finger. He will look to get on top early on and make his presence known.

Shane Watson is another good pick for the champions. Apart from Australia’s dismal form in the Ashes, Watson was a shining light all summer and will look to finally make his mark in a World Cup tournament.

Australia head into this match as odds-on favourites and bar an absolute heroic performance from the men in red, the champions should see their tournament kicked off with a resounding win.



latest articles

related articles