I have seen teams do this all the time, and get distracted by what they're supposed to be doing. Just simply doing the basics right with the bat and ball, and just taking your catches can all go wrong in this match because of the outside distractions. Both teams have had the typical World Cup fever with media, photos, advertising campaigns, which are fun but you go here and there which creates lots and lots of excitement. Also there has been many practice matches to maybe give a few players that boost confidence before the serious games begin.
Talking about distractions, can Australia keep things in check throughout this tournament with the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 being played here on home soil. It's a lot to get your head around for the players, probably the media will play their part in this, for all players that are in form and out of form.
Another distraction can be as simple as your family and friends with their needs around this tournament here in Australia and some of the individual performances that will happen. In a World Cup, the games are spread out nearly a week in between matches, so there can be more talking than action. Six pool games, three reasonable games, one against a lowly ranked full member and two against qualifiers. So, your expectations as a group can vary from week to week, this is where we have seen so of the bigger nations come undone at times in a World Cup.
The make-up of the Australia team all looks pretty good for them after the recent series win in the Tri-series. They weren't dominate with the bat but they got the job done and tried some different combinations because of injuries. This actually turned out really well for the coaching staff and selectors to look at their options before this huge tournament.
Now the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 is about to start, for the balance of the team Clarke, Smith and Bailey can be in the same squad but not in the playing line-up! This has been averted for the opening match against England as Clarke has been ruled out, but sooner or later, this will come back and the selectors will have to make a tough call.
The bowling group looks really good, led by Mitch Johnson and the three young quicks now are ready more than they probably were going back in recent times. This doesn't mean it's going to be easy for them, they certainly will be challenged at some stage of this tournament. Mitch Starc has been there about in all forms but he been going better in ODI cricket really. Pat Cummins has had a troubled road but his is also ready for this challenge and Josh Hazelwood has been developing nicely and in recent times has grabbed his chance with both hands and looks very comfortable. We also have plenty of all-rounders in the squad and Mr Reliable in Xavier Doherty if the wickets are going to take a bit of turn.
England, I believe, have a few troubles and it's mainly the batting order. Ravi Bopara is now a very experienced player but bat low in the order. Having Ali, Taylor and even Root are just a little inexperienced for me at the top of the order. In my opinion, Bell, Ali, Root and Bopara at four, captain at five and then Taylor just has to bat at six. I believe this is their best chance, in World Cups you need experience and what England have lost some experienced members just recently. On the other side of the coin, their bowling looks good for the Australia and New Zealand conditions. Plenty of experience and, of course, a match-winner in Finn, it's great to see him back and firing.
Another thing for England to consider is, they must hit the ground running because they have both hosts first up. Like Australia, New Zealand always playes very well at this venue.
Some of the key players in this match will be our top-order, we will need someone to lay that platform either Warner or Finch, and Johnson will have impact with the ball. For England, they will really need their senior players to shine. Bopara if he can get up the order, Morgan will have to get everything right on the night. With the ball, Anderson has been waiting for this where he has been bowling within himself in the tri-series. This will probably be his last World Cup so it all or nothing for him. If he can get some support from Finn and Broad, this is England's only hope on such a big opening night in Australia.
The might of England up against the hosts Australia at the MCG it doesn't get much better for these two countries there has been plenty of recent battles in the Ashes. Anderson v Clarke, Johnson v the England batting order, Broad against the Australian public. With the hours counting down before that first ball, I am sure another dramatic game will unfold in front of our eyes in front of a packed MCG. 2015 © ICC Development (International) Limited