One of the
top eight surely, but will Pakistan make the final?
THE PAKISTAN PLAYERS
shouldn't worry too much, in spite of injuries and poor form
Group Editor Sports Gul Hameed Bhatti feels the Pakistan team for the World Cup competition is really not one of the favourites. Unless, of course, the side rises from the ashes of recent destruction and performs yet another 'cornered tigers' impression as the squad under Imran Khan did back in 1992
It is now an accepted fact that whenever a Pakistan cricket team leaves the airstrips of the country, to participate in an international tournament away from home, a pall of controversy follows it everywhere. On most occasions, the various situations actually begin with a huge sense of optimism and positive expectations; yet, almost always, everything appears to end in smoke with the protagonists left pointing fingers at each other and hurling abuse and allegations. And the rest trying to justify the various debacles.
The Pakistan team that is now in the West Indies to play in the newest edition of cricket's World Cup, according to a whole lot of self-styled sports critics is not the strongest outfit representing the country that's been sent abroad to try and snatch the game's most coveted trophy from the clutches of its current champions.
Of course, if one believed that, in the absence of the dope-tainted fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif, it is not a strong enough combination of players, then perhaps it is. Whether their replacements will be able to deliver the goods in as spectacular a manner as expected from these two, is a matter still open to conjecture.
Let's face it: one would have been extremely foolish to believe that somehow Shoaib and Asif could have gone to the Caribbean with the national squad. Although the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials continued to deny all sorts of speculation, it was always quite apparent that these two would eventually be pulled out of the squad just before it left for the West Indies.
Exactly that's what has happened and exactly this is what the rest of the world is now openly insinuating. The PCB must have feared life bans for the fast bowlers had they been 'target tested' for doping by the International Cricket Council (ICC) during the World Cup competition.
The 'sending away' of both Shoaib and Asif to England, for getting possible expert medical opinion on their suspected 'cracked knee' and 'tennis elbow', respectively, was perhaps just a smoke screen. According to a report, traces of nandrolone were still found in the bloodstream of both players and they would have kissed their entire cricketing careers goodbye had they tested positive for a second time.
IS THE PACE ATTACK STRONG ENOUGH?
The question is whether these two being in the team would have made a big difference to Pakistan's fortunes at the World Cup. Answering such queries regarding limited overs cricket is always a bit tricky. Every bowler gets to bowl only a maximum of 10 overs in a One-day International. What if Shoaib Akhtar -- considering that he was dope-free finally -- had broken down in the tournament opener against the West Indies and then ruled out of the rest of the competition?
Asif's exclusion from the side does affect the strength of the fast bowling squad. Mainly because the rest of the pacemen don't immediately inspire confidence. Umar Gul didn't play at all in the recent series in South Africa, but after he was passed fit following injury, he becomes the team's leading strike bowler.
But, somehow, much is not expected from the rest of the field, even if Rana Naved-ul-Hasan is considered one of the best pace bowlers on the circuit in the 'death overs'. The much-maligned Mohammad Sami has quite an impressive record in the ODIs in fact but no recent superlative performances.
Azhar Mahmood has been out of international cricket for too long and really has yet to find his bearings again. With Abdul Razzaq ruled out due to a freak ankle injury in the nets, will Rao Iftikhar and Yasir Arafat be able to spruce up the strength of Pakistan's pace attack?
WHERE IS THE PAKISTAN TEAM GOING TO END?
Unless something really tragic happens, the Pakistan team will surely be playing in the Super Eights stage of the World Cup, after becoming one of the two teams to qualify from its Group D. The other three sides in their pool are hosts West Indies, Ireland and Zimbabwe and, realistically, they still have the ability to beat all three.
Things would start getting hairy in the Super Eights round, where they will have matches to play against the six top sides having moved forward from the other three groups. This pack would surely comprise defending champions Australia, the 2003 runners-up India, South Africa, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and England unless there is a real debacle at the group stage.
Right now, one could write off Pakistan as possible semifinalists but it would really be making a premature prediction, without taking a whole lot of 'unforeseen results' into consideration.
Those who remember the inaugural World Cup competition of 1975 know that Pakistan were then one of the favourites to win the title. They just might have done that too. They lost an epic of a match to Australia, then the West Indies really came back from behind, far behind in fact, to beat them by a one-wicket margin. If Pakistan had made the finals, who knows they might have been crowned the first World Cup champions too.
In 1987, with a semifinal against Australia in Lahore, it really was a 'foregone conclusion' that Pakistan would be the team in the final. They eventually lost by an 18 runs margin.
In 1992, they appeared as one of the teams most unlikely to reach the final. They did and beat England by 22 runs in the final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in front of over 87,000 spectators, to lift their only World Cup trophy so far.
In 1999, they were again in the final, but Australia beat them easily to regain the Cup after having last won it in 1987. In 1996, Pakistan couldn't make the semifinal stage. In 2003, they couldn't even get into the Super Sixes, having finished only above minnows Netherlands and Namibia in the seven-team Pool A.
In 1979 and 1983, Pakistan made the semifinals on either occasion but couldn't get into the all-important final.
HAS ANY DESERVING PLAYER BEEN LEFT AT HOME?
You could say yes, perhaps even no. But most of the players not selected for the 2007 World Cup may have caused their own downfall. The left-handed Salman Butt, still only 22 years old, last played for Pakistan in June 2006 after having been dropped due to poor form.
Yasir Hameed's case deserves a special looking-into. In 50 ODIs, he has scored 1,917 runs at an average of 39.12 with a strike-rate of 67.52. He has hit three hundreds and 11 fifties and, in his last four ODIs -- all against the West Indies just four months ago, he contributed scores of 41, 57, 71 and 41. He might consider himself a tad unfortunate.
Imran Farhat (33 ODIs, 974 runs at 30.43) may also have been unfairly rejected. Taufeeq Umar has not been chosen for an ODI for more than two years now. But these are really the only players in our short list, not counting those who are on the injury roster or drastically out of form.
WHAT ARE THE ODDS IN FAVOUR OF PAKISTAN?
Talking about the odds, one of the several bookies has placed Pakistan at 9-1 prior to the start of the World Cup event. This also, in a sly manner, means that they will not be among the top eight teams of the tournament. But even a down and out Pakistan team is generally capable of providing the fireworks in the oddest of situations.
On the batting front, it should be able to depend upon the likes of Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan, in addition to Shoaib Malik and skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq. A 22-year-old Inzi was one of the team's stars at the 1992 World Cup, powering the side into the final with a blistering 60 off 37 balls in the semifinal against New Zealand.
Fifteen years down the road, he is really on the wane and hasn't scored many runs lately, but the World Cup might help him stage that last hurrah. Unfortunately, Shahid Afridi's blitzy batting, splendid leg-break bowling and never-say-die fielding will be missed as he won't be playing in the first two group matches, as he is still serving a four-match suspension.
One wonders what the situation would be like by the time he returns. The rest of the batting is in the hands of the recalled Imran Nazir and Mohammad Hafeez who, like wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal, is undergoing a sort of crisis of confidence. They will all have to succeed to take the team into the next dimension.
Then there's the unknown phenomenon that's the leg-spinner Danish Kaneria. In a seven-year period, he has been picked for a mere 16 One-day Internationals and hasn't been a part of the team's ODI strategy since June last year. He is really no Abdul Qadir or Mushtaq Ahmed, where the one-dayers are concerned, and one finds it slightly difficult to envisage a regular place for him unless he excels beyond imagination in the very first opportunity he is handed.
Thus, a Pakistan team is in the Caribbean for a World Cup competition, where it really is not one of the favourites. Unless, of course, the side rises from the ashes of recent destruction and does yet another 'cornered tigers' impression as the squad under Imran Khan did back in 1992.
MEET THE PAKISTAN PLAYERS
INZAMAM-UL-HAQ. Captain. Born Multan March 3, 1970 (37 years old at start of World Cup 2007). Right-hand batsman. Slow left-arm orthodox bowler. Test matches 119 (1992-2007). One-day Internationals 375 (1991-2007), 11,665 runs (ave 39.67), HS 137*, S/R 74.24, 10 100s, 83 50s, 109 catches, 3 wickets (ave 21.33), BB 1-0, R/O 6.62. Captain in 83 ODIs (2002-07), won 50, lost 30, no-result 3, win % 62.50. Appearing in his fifth World Cup, the previous four being in 1992, 1996, 1999 and 2003.
Mohammad YOUNIS KHAN. Vice-captain. Born Mardan November 29, 1977 (29 years old at start of World Cup 2007). Right-hand batsman. Right-arm medium or leg-break bowler. Wicket-keeper. Test matches 53 (2000-07). One-day Internationals 148 (2000-07), 3,951 runs (ave 31.60), HS 144, S/R 73.74, 2 100s, 26 50s, 77 catches, one wicket for 101 runs, BB 1-24, R/O 6.65. Captain in 6 ODIs (2005-07), won 2, lost 4, win% 33.33. Appearing in his second World Cup, the previous one being in 2003.
AZHAR MAHMOOD Sagar. Born Rawalpindi February 28, 1975 (32 years old at start of World Cup 2007). Right-hand batsman. Right-arm fast-medium bowler. Test matches 21 (1997-2001). One-day Internationals 142 (1996-2007), 1,519 runs (ave 18.30), HS 67, S/R 77.22, 3 50s, 37 catches, 123 wickets (ave 38.92), BB 6-18, 4w 5, R/O 4.63. Appearing in his third World Cup, the previous two being in 1999 and 2003 (replaced the injured Abdul Razzaq on February 27).
DANISH Parabha Shanker KANERIA. Born Karachi December 16, 1980 (26 years old at start of World Cup 2007). Right-hand batsman. Right-arm leg-break bowler. Test matches 46 (2000-07). One-day Internationals 16 (2001-06), 6 runs (ave 3.00), HS 3*, S/R 33.33, 2 catches, 12 wickets (ave 49.16), BB 3-31, R/O 4.56. First selection for a World Cup competition.
IMRAN NAZIR. Born Gujranwala December 16, 1981 (25 years old at start of World Cup 2007). Right-hand batsman. Right-arm leg-break bowler. Test matches 8 (1999-2002). One-day Internationals 65 (1999-2007), 1,484 runs (ave 23.55), HS 105*, S/R 76.73, one 100, 9 50s, 19 catches, one wicket for 48 runs, BB 1-3, R/O 5.87. First selection for a World Cup competition.
KAMRAN AKMAL. Born Lahore January 13, 1982 (25 years old at start of World Cup 2007). Right-hand batsman. Wicket-keeper. Test matches 33 (2002-07). One-day Internationals 62 (2002-07), 1,120 runs (ave 24.88), HS 124, S/R 83.27, 3 100s, one 50, 54 catches, 9 stumpings. First selection for a World Cup competition.
MOHAMMAD HAFEEZ. Born Sargodha October 17, 1980 (26 years old at start of World Cup 2007). Right-hand batsman. Right-arm off-break bowler. Test matches 10 (2003-07). One-day Internationals 44 (2003-07), 819 runs (ave 19.04), HS 92, S/R 58.41, 4 50s, 17 catches, 33 wickets (ave 34.09), BB 3-17, R/O 4.43. First selection for a World Cup competition.
MOHAMMAD SAMI. Born Karachi February 24, 1981 (26 years old at start of World Cup 2007). Right-hand batsman. Right-arm fast bowler. Test matches 30 (2001-07). One-day Internationals 79 (2001-07), 275 runs (ave 11.45), HS 46, S/R 63.36, 18 catches, 111 wickets (ave 29.16), BB 5-10, 4w 4, R/O 4.96. Appearing in his second World Cup, the previous one being in 2003 (replaced the unfit Shoaib Akhtar on March 1).
MOHAMMAD YOUSUF (known as Yousuf Youhana until 2005, before his conversion to Islam). Born Lahore August 27, 1974 (32 years old at start of World Cup 2007). Right-hand batsman. Test matches 75 (1998-2007). One-day Internationals 233 (1998-2007), 7,853 runs (ave 41.77), HS 141*, S/R 74.47, 12 100s, 52 50s, 50 catches, 0-1 as bowler, R/O 6.00. Captain in 4 ODIs (2003-04), won 2, lost 2, win% 50.00. Appearing in his third World Cup, the previous two being in 1999 and 2003.
Rana NAVED-UL-HASAN. Born Sheikhupura February 28, 1978 (29 years old at start of World Cup 2007). Right-hand batsman. Right-arm medium-fast bowler. Test matches 9 (2004-07). One-day Internationals 61 (2003-07), 348 runs (ave 13.38), HS 29, S/R 76.99, 12 catches, 95 wickets (ave 27.16), BB 6-27, 4w 6, R/O 5.53. First selection for a World Cup competition.
RAO IFTIKHAR Anjum. Born Khanewal December 1, 1980 (26 years old at start of World Cup 2007). Right-hand batsman. Right-arm medium-pace bowler. Test match one (in 2006). One-day Internationals 26 (2004-07), 89 runs (ave 44.50), HS 19*, S/R 57.41, 8 catches, 19 wickets (ave 48.68), BB 2-13, R/O 4.60. First selection for a World Cup competition.
Sahibzada Mohammad SHAHID Khan AFRIDI. Born Khyber Agency March 1, 1980 (27 years old at start of World Cup 2007). Right-hand batsman. Right-arm medium or leg-break googly bowler. Test matches 26 (1998-2006). One-day Internationals 237 (1996-2007), 4,982 runs (ave 23.17), HS 109, S/R 108.58, 4 100s, 27 50s, 83 catches, 198 wickets (ave 35.82), BB 5-11, 4w 4, R/O 4.61. Appearing in his third World Cup, the previous two being in 1999 and 2003.
SHOAIB MALIK. Born Sialkot February 1, 1982 (25 years old at start of World Cup 2007). Right-hand batsman. Right-arm off-break bowler. Test matches 18 (2001-06). One-day Internationals 134 (1999-2007), 3,432 runs (ave 33.64), HS 143, S/R 77.01, 5 100s, 20 50s, 47 catches, 103 wickets (ave 34.47), BB 4-19, 4w one, R/O 4.46. First selection for a World Cup competition.
UMAR GUL. Born Peshawar October 15, 1982 (24 years old at start of World Cup 2007). Right-hand batsman. Right-arm fast-medium bowler. Test matches 14 (2003-06). One-day Internationals 25 (2003-06), 34 runs (ave 11.33), HS 17*, S/R 47.88, 2 catches, 30 wickets (ave 29.43), BB 5-17, 4w one, R/O 4.59. First selection for a World Cup competition.
YASIR ARAFAT Satti. Born Rawalpindi March 12, 1982 (25 years old at start of World Cup 2007). Right-hand batsman. Right-arm medium-pace bowler. No Test matches. One-day Internationals 7 (2000-06), 48 runs (ave 12.00), HS 27, S/R 78.68, one catch, 4 wickets (ave 58.25), BB 1-28, R/O 5.97. First selection for a World Cup competition (replaced the unfit Mohammad Asif on March 1).
Rank Team Points
1 Bangladesh 72
2= Australia 67
2= South Africa 67
4 Sri Lanka 64
5 New Zealand 56
6 West Indies 52
7 Pakistan 50
8= England 37
8= India 37
10 Zimababwe 29
(a) Kenya 60
(b) Scotland 35
(c)= Netherlands 29
(c)= Ireland 29
(e) Bermuda 26
(f) Canada 24
Note: Matches taken into consideration were played over the last one-year period. The quality of opposition has not been evaluated though
PAKISTAN IN WORLD CUP 2007
March 6 Pakistan bt Canada Sir Frank Worrell Memorial
March 9 Pakistan v South Africa Sir Frank Worrell Memorial
GROUP D MATCHES
March 13 West Indies v Pakistan Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica
March 17 Ireland v Pakistan Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica
March 21 Pakistan v Zimbabwe Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica
SUPER EIGHTS MATCHES
March 27 D2 v A1 Sir Vivian Richards Stadium,
St Peter's, Antigua
March 29 D2 v C1 Sir Vivian Richards Stadium,
St Peter's, Antigua
March 30 D1 v C2 Providence Stadium, Guyana
April 1 D2 v B1 Providence Stadium, Guyana
April 3 D1 v A2 Providence Stadium, Guyana
April 9 D1 v C1 Providence Stadium, Guyana
April 10 D2 v A2 National Cricket Stadium, Grenada
April 13 A1 v D1 Kensington Oval, Barbados
April 15 B2 v D1 Kensington Oval, Barbados
April 18 D1 v B1 National Cricket Stadium, Grenada
April 19 D2 v B2 Kensington Oval, Barbados
April 21 D2 v C2 Kensington Oval, Barbados
SEMIFINALS AND FINAL
April 24 1st Semi Final 2 v 3 Sabina Park, Kingston,
April 25 2nd Semi Final 1 v 4 Beausejour Stadium, St Lucia
April 28 Finals SF1 v SF2 Kensington Oval, Barbados
Australia shouldn't worry too much, in spite of injuries and poor form
Group Editor Sports Gul Hameed Bhatti feels Australia still appear to be the leading contenders for the World Cup title and one of the only two or three teams with the potential to pull it off
In spite of a wholesale spate of injuries as well as poor form, Australia remain the team most likely to win the World Cup competition in the West Indies. If they do so, they will be making a hat-trick of titles -- having clinched the coveted trophy in 1999 and 2003 also -- and added to their 1987 triumph in the sub-continent here, it would be their fourth trophy overall. They are, perhaps, the only team among the 16 participants in the event in the Caribbean who have been tipped to definitely make the final of the tournament.
Yet, doubts linger over the continuous availability of some of their players. The team mamangement is wondering whether all the leading players would strike form at the right moment, or at least whenever required. Huge disappointment was expressed by almost everyone including the stand-in skipper Michael Hussey, when New Zealand made Australia suffer a 3-0 whitewash in the recent Chappell-Hadlee Series.
But, realistically speaking, Australia didn't really do anything drastically wrong in New Zealand when they got decimated in the three-match ODI rubber. The loss by 10 wickets in the first game in Wellington was a cause for concern though, but Australia really shouldn't have lost the two subsequent matches.
At Auckland, they ran up a total of 336-4 in their 50 overs. New Zealand raced to 340-5 in reply, winning by five wickets with just eight balls to spare. In the final encounter in Hamilton, Australia hammered 346-5 while batting first. New Zealand won again, making 350-9 with only the last pair in and a mere three balls to go.
But several of Australia's top players had not made the trip to neighbouring New Zealand last month. Skipper Ricky Ponting was resting a suspected bad back, wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist couldn't go because of family reasons. Michael Clarke was out with a hip problem, Brett Lee was nursing an injured ankle and Andrew Symonds was ruled out due to an arm injury. Pace bowler Stuart Clark wasn't even selected.
Now, more problems have beset the Australians. They have landed in the Caribbean without Lee, who was replaced by Stuart Clark at almost the last moment in the World Cup line-up. Symonds hopes to be fit only by the last Group A match against South Africa on March 24 and is sure to miss the earlier games against minnows Scotland and Netherlands.
Opener Matthew Hayden's broken toe, which he sustained while scoring his record unbeaten 181 against New Zealand in Hamilton just weeks ago, has not fully healed. Clarke, meanwhile, hopes to cross the pain barrier when he tests his hip problem in actual match conditions.
DWINDLING FORM AND EMERGING PLAYERS
Having already announced that his cricket career will come to a close after the World Cup, star pace bowler Glenn McGrath returned wicketless from New Zealand, having conceded 76 runs in the 15.4 overs he bowled there. But the man with 355 ODI wickets to his credit feels there will be a turnaround once the mega event gets underway and the Australians will perform exactly as they are generally expected to.
There will be high expectations from the likes of Michael 'Mr Cricket' Hussey, the fast-developing middle-order batsman Brad Hodge, left-arm spinner Brad Hogg, all-rounder Shane Watson and fast bowlers Mitchell Johnson and Shaun Tait in addition to the senior, more experienced tried and tested players.
There are those who believe that Clark should have been in the World Cup line-up anyway. There are also those who feel that leg-break and googly bowler Cameron White, who has played 11 of the 13 ODIs for Australia in calendar year 2007, deserved to be persisted with.
But, at least on paper, Australia can still boast to have the almost-perfect squad at their disposal to win yet another World Cup competition. This, in spite of the fact, that including the series in New Zealand, they currently stand beaten in their last five One-day Internationals in a row!
Just before the Chappell-Hadlee event, Australia had suffered the ignominy of losing a battle to old foes England, which in ordinary circumstances would have just been a cakewalk triumph for them.
After having qualified for the triangular ODI series finals with seven wins and a solitary loss in the league round, Australia were defeated by England 2-0 in the best-of-three finals series with the third match not required to be played.
AUSTRALIA SHOULDN'T BE OVERTLY WORRIED
Discounting these last five successive losses, which place them in an uncomplimentary position in the ODIs results table in the ongoing year -- six defeats against seven wins in 13 matches -- Australia in their last 25 One-day Internationals since April 2006 have otherwise only been beaten on three other occasions with 16 matches ending in triumph. They also lifted the ICC Champions Trophy title in India last October.
They have two soft matches coming up to kick-start their 2007 World Cup campaign. By the time they play South Africa -- a team which has only recently displaced Australia from the top spot in the ICC ODI Ranking where they had reigned supreme for some six years -- they would already have qualified for the Super Eights stage. Even a loss at the hands of the Proteas wouldn't make any difference to that status.
Their batting line-up at the World Cup shouldn't be a cause for any real worries. Gilchrist, who was slightly late in arriving in the West Indies following the birth of his third child, has quite a capable understudy in Brad Haddin, who bats in the same aggressive style and is a competent wicket-keeper. The others, starting from Hayden down to Hogg and Watson can all boost the Australian run totals.
The bowling can cause a few problems, if McGrath doesn't return to top form as promised. But that will be the time for Nathan Bracken to rise to the occasion and Clark, Johnson, Tait and Watson to show what stuff they are made of.
But there really shouldn't be anything utterly surprising cropping up between Australia and the fourth World Cup title they are looking for. They still appear to be the leading contenders and one of the only two or three teams with the potential to pull it off.
MEET THE AUSTRALIA PLAYERS
Ricky Thomas PONTING. Captain. Born Launceston, Tasmania December 19, 1974 (32 years old at start of World Cup 2007). Right-hand batsman. Right-arm medium-pace bowler. Nephew of GD Campbell (4 Tests and 12 ODIs for Australia 1989-90). Test matches 110 (1995-2007). One-day Internationals 269 (1995-2007), 9,856 runs (ave 42.48), HS 164, S/R 79.58, 22 100s, 58 50s, 117 catches, 3 wickets (ave 34.66), BB 1-12, R/O 4.16. Captain in 137 ODIs (2002-07), won 104, lost 25, tied 2, no-result 6, win % 79.38. Appearing in his fourth World Cup, the previous three being in 1996, 1999 and 2003 (captain).
Nathan Wade BRACKEN. Born Penrith, New South Wales September 12, 1977 (29 years old at start of World Cup 2007). Right-hand batsman. Left-arm fast-medium bowler. Test matches 5 (2003-05). One-day Internationals 57 (2001-07), 144 runs (ave 16.00), HS 21*, S/R 85.20, 12 catches, 96 wickets (ave 22.23), BB 5-67, 4w 3, R/O 4.45. Appearing in his second World Cup, the previous one being in 2003.
Stuart Rupert CLARK. Born Sutherland, Sydney, New South Wales September 28, 1975 (31 years old at start of World Cup 2007). Right-hand batsman. Right-arm fast-medium bowler. Test matches 9 (2006-07). One-day Internationals 24 (2005-07), 59 runs (ave 19.66), HS 16*, S/R 86.76, 7 catches, 35 wickets (ave 31.82), BB 4-54, 4w 2, R/O 5.48. First selection for a World Cup competition (replaced the injured B Lee on February 23).
Michael John CLARKE. Born Liverpool, New South Wales April 2, 1981 (25 years old at start of World Cup 2007). Right-hand batsman. Slow left-arm orthodox bowler. Test matches 27 (2004-07). One-day Internationals 101 (2003-07), 2,893 runs (ave 42.54), HS 105*, S/R 81.28, 2 100s, 21 50s, 37 catches, 30 wickets (ave 36.73), BB 5-35, 4w 2, R/O 5.18. First selection for a World Cup competition.
Adam Craig GILCHRIST. Born Bellingen, New South Wales November 14, 1971 (35 years old at start of World Cup 2007). Left-hand batsman. Wicket-keeper. Right-arm off-break bowler. Test matches 90 (1999-2007). One-day Internationals 257 (1996-2007), 8,585 runs (ave 35.62), HS 172, S/R 96.29, 14 100s, 48 50s, 376 catches, 46 stumpings. Captain in 15 ODIs (2001-07), won 11, lost 4, win % 73.33. Appearing in his third World Cup, the previous two being in 1999 and 2003 (vice-captain).
Bradley James HADDIN. Born Cowra, New South Wales October 23, 1977 (29 years old at start of World Cup 2007). Right-hand batsman. Wicket-keeper. No Test matches. One-day Internationals 21 (2001-07), 467 runs (ave 25.94), HS 70, S/R 80.93, one 50, 28 catches, 4 stumpings. First selection for a World Cup competition.
Matthew Lawrence HAYDEN. Born Kingaroy, Queensland October 29, 1971 (35 years old at start of World Cup 2007). Left-hand batsman. Right-arm medium-pace bowler. Test matches 89 (1994-2007). One-day Internationals 134 (1993-2007), 4,840 runs (ave 41.72), HS 181*, S/R 76.22, 7 100s, 29 50s, 54 catches, 0-18 as bowler, R/O 18.00. Appearing in his second World Cup, the previous one being in 2003.
Bradley John HODGE. Born Sandringham, Victoria December 29, 1974 (32 years old at start of World Cup 2007). Right-hand batsman. Right-arm off-break bowler. Test matches 5 (2005-06). One-day Internationals 13 (2005-07), 364 runs (ave 33.09), HS 99*, S/R 84.25, 3 50s, 8 catches, 0-16 as bowler, R/O 5.33. First selection for a World Cup competition.
George Bradley HOGG. Born Narrogin, Western Australia February 6, 1971 (36 years old at start of World Cup 2007). Left-hand batsman. Slow left-arm Chinaman bowler. Test matches 4 (1996-2003). One-day Internationals 95 (1996-2007), 660 runs (ave 20.00), HS 71*, S/R 77.92, 2 50s, 29 catches, 112 wickets (ave 29.22), BB 5-32, 4w 2, R/O 4.54. Appearing in his second World Cup, the previous one being in 2003.
Michael Edward Killeen HUSSEY. Born Morley, Western Australia May 27, 1975 (31 years old at start of World Cup 2007). Left-hand batsman. Right-arm medium-pace bowler. Test matches 16 (2005-07). One-day Internationals 61 (2004-07), 1,739 runs (ave 66.88), HS 109*, S/R 91.33, 2 100s, 10 50s, 38 catches, 2 wickets (ave 83.50), BB 1-22, R/O 5.21. Captain in 4 ODIs (2006-07), all lost. First selection for a World Cup competition.
Mitchell Guy JOHNSON. Born Townsville, Queensland November 2, 1981 (25 years old at start of World Cup 2007). Left-hand batsman. Left-arm fast-medium bowler. No Test matches. One-day Internationals 18 (2005-07), 29 runs (ave 7.25), HS 15, S/R 76.31, 3 catches, 26 wickets (ave 27.88), BB 4-11, 4w 2, R/O 5.33. First selection for a World Cup competition.
Glenn Donald McGRATH. Born Dubbo, New South Wales February 9, 1970 (37 years old at start of World Cup 2007). Right-hand batsman. Right-arm fast-medium bowler. Test matches 124 (1993-2007). One-day Internationals 239 (1993-2007), 115 runs (ave 3.83), HS 11, S/R 48.72, 36 catches, 355 wickets (ave 22.63), BB 7-15, 4w 16, R/O 3.86. Appearing in his fourth World Cup, the previous three being in 1996, 1999 and 2003.
Andrew SYMONDS. Born Birmingham, England June 9, 1975 (31 years old at start of World Cup 2007). Right-hand batsman. Right-arm medium or off-break bowler. Test matches 13 (2004-07). One-day Internationals 161 (1998-2007), 4,037 runs (ave 38.81), HS 156, S/R 92.04, 5 100s, 21 50s, 69 catches, 121 wickets (ave 37.38), BB 5-18, 4w 3, R/O 4.97. Appearing in his second World Cup, the previous one being in 2003.
Shaun William TAIT. Born Bedford Park, Adelaide, South Australia February 22, 1983 (24 years old at start of World Cup 2007). Right-hand batsman. Right-arm fast bowler. Test matches 2 (2005). One-day Internationals 4 (2007), 11 runs (ave 11.00), HS 11, S/R 110.00, 5 wickets (ave 43.60), BB 2-60, R/O 5.58. First selection for a World Cup competition.
Shane Robert WATSON. Born Ipswich, Queensland June 17, 1981 (25 years old at start of World Cup 2007). Right-hand batsman. Right-arm fast-medium bowler. Test matches 3 (2005). One-day Internationals 57 (2002-07), 856 runs (ave 30.57), HS 79, S/R 73.41, 6 50s, 13 catches, 58 wickets (ave 32.72), BB 4-39, 4w 2, R/O 4.89. First selection for a World Cup competition.