With less than 30 days for the ICC Cricket World Cup to begin in thesubcontinent (February 19), all the 14 teams (except Canada) have announced their 15 member teams. With so many ex-players pointing out India as the favourites to win the cup, am a bit apprehensive now. Combine it with the hopes of a billion people and Dhoni has the biggest challenge on hands. The Indian injury list is pretty long and hope they get ready before the tournament starts. Also, the whole thing about India wanting to win the world cup for Sachin Tendulkar is a big hogwash. Let’s face it. Cricket is a team sport and yes Sachin Tendulkar is probably the best cricketer to ever have graced the sport. But to have such priorities is ridiculous. If India doesnt win the cup, it doesnt make a dent on Sachin’s reputation or vice versa. So lets chuck that extra reason for pressure out and concentrate on the game.
The defending champions Australia too have a big task on hand after having slipped down the test ranking and also after having lost the Ashes. A loss here would mean a certain end of the road for Ponting.
The perennial chokers, South Africa would be itching to get rid of the tag and so would be Pakistan (the only team to yet decide on a captain) along with Sri Lanka wanting to win the cup for a second time.
There will be the usual mismatches between the stronger and weaker teams, but some upsets would set the tournament up beautifully.
Ricky Ponting (capt), Michael Clarke, Doug Bollinger, Brad Haddin, John Hastings, Nathan Hauritz, David Hussey, Mike Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Tim Paine, Steve Smith, Shaun Tait, Shane Watson, Cameron White.
Shakib Al Hasan (captain), Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Shariar Nafees, Zunaed Siddique, Mohammad Ashraful, Raqibul Hassan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah Riad, Abdur Razzak, Naeem Islam, Shafiul Islam, Suhrawardi Shuvo, Rubel Hossain, Nazmul Hossain.
Andrew Strauss (Captain), Jimmy Anderson, Ian Bell, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Paul Collingwood, Eoin Morgan, Kevin Pietersen, Matt Prior, Ajmal Shahzad, Graeme Swann, James Tredwell, Jonathan Trott, Luke Wright, Michael Yardy.
MS Dhoni (Captain), Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Piyush Chawla, Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel, Ashish Nehra, Praveen Kumar, Harbhajan Singh, Ravichandran Ashwin, Yusuf Pathan.
William Porterfield (captain), Andre Botha, Alex Cusack, George Dockrell, Trent Johnston, Nigel Jones, Ed Joyce, John Mooney, Kevin O’Brien, Niall O’Brien, Boyd Rankin, Paul Stirling, Albert van der Merwe, Gary Wilson, Andrew White.
Jimmy Kamande (captain), Seren Waters, Alex Obanda, David Obuya, Collins Obuya, Steve Tikolo, Tanmay Mishra, Rakep Patel, Morris Ouma, Thomas Odoyo, Nehemiah Odhiambo, Elijah Otieno, Peter Ongondo, Shem Ngoche, James Ngoche.
Peter Borren (c), Adeel Raja, Wesley Barresi (wk), Mudassar Bukhari, Atse Buurman (wk), Tom Cooper, Tom de Grooth, Alexei Kervezee, Bradley Kruger, Bernard Loots, Pieter Seelaar, Eric Szwarczynski, Ryan ten Doeschate, Berend Westdijk, Bas Zuiderent
Daniel Vettori (captain), Brendon McCullum, Jesse Ryder, Jamie How, Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Scott Styris, Kane Williamson, James Franklin, Jacob Oram, Nathan McCullum, Tim Southee, Kyle Mills, Hamish Bennett, Luke Woodcock.
Shahid Afridi, Misbah-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hafeez, Kamran Akmal, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal, Abdul Razzaq, Abdur Rehman, Saeed Ajmal, Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz, Sohail Tanveer, Ahmed Shahzad
Graeme Smith (captain), Hashim Amla, Johan Botha, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Colin Ingram, Jacques Kallis, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Dale Steyn, Imran Tahir, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Morne van Wyk.
Kumar Sangakkara (c/wk), Mahela Jayawardene (vc), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Dilhara Fernando, Rangana Herath, Chamara Kapugedera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Ajantha Mendis, Muttiah Muralitharan, Thisara Perera, Thilan Samaraweera, Chamara Silva, Upul Tharanga
Darren Sammy (captain), Adrian Barath, Carlton Baugh Jr., Sulieman Benn, Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Chris Gayle, Nikita Miller, Kieron Pollard, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Andre Russell, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Devon Smith.
Elton Chigumbura (c), Regis Chakabva, Charles Coventry, Graeme Cremer, Craig Ervine, Sean Ervine, Greg Lamb, Shingirai Masakadza, Chris Mpofu, Ray Price, Ed Rainsford, Tatenda Taibu (wk), Brendan Taylor, Prosper Utseya, Sean Williams
Yet to announce.
The full schedule of the ICC Cricket World Cup can be found here.