world cup Cocktail
Australian paceman Josh Hazlewood feels India are a very dangerous side and that it was "just a matter of time" before their batting order clicks.
Australia drubbed India in the warm-up match by 106 runs on Sunday in yet another listless performance by the Men in Blue Down Under.
"It's just a matter of time until their batting order clicks," Hazlewood told reporters today.
"They've got some outstanding players and they've all got great records. I think it's just a matter of time before they get going... they're a very dangerous side," he said.
Williamson: The patient perfectionist
There's a story which encapsulates the reason Kane Williamson is shouldering his way higher into the ranks of the world's best batsmen.
After last week's 119-run victory over Pakistan, Williamson could have joined the rest of the Black Caps in celebrating, particularly after his 88-ball 112. Instead of heading for a massage, ice bath or, gasp, a beer, he was back in the nets after the match.
Apparently he'd scored his runs too fast. Williamson not only prizes his wicket, he hankers after time in the middle. The story goes he was looking for 140 or 150 balls during his innings. That didn't happen, so it was back to the nets to make up the difference - and then some.
That not only bodes well for Williamson but for the Black Caps in the upcoming World Cup. Williamson's form in the 11 ODI matches the team have played since December has stamped him as the Kiwi's key player. In those matches, Williamson scored three centuries, two 97s, 70 not out, 54 and 46 -- 753 runs -- at an average of 75.3.
He uses his feet better than any other Kiwi batsman, has the rarely-seen ability to play off the back foot and has the mark of the greats - he sees the ball early and can steer it through gaps. Not only is he staying in the middle, he is scoring runs at pace.
There's a caveat to all this, of course. He's only 24, there's the massive pressure of a home World Cup and this is the Black Caps - a team with a bewildering ability to dash hopes on the rocks of expectation.
From a Kiwi point of view, Williamson's progress through this tournament will be every bit as vital as McCullum's fireworks. It will be fascinating.
Robot picks Afghanistan
A robot has gone out on a limb to predict that 1000-1 outsiders Afghanistan will win the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.
University of Canterbury's Nao robot Ikram made the bold prediction after analysing the provided data for 2 days.
After narrowing the field down to India, West Indies, Scotland, New Zealand and Afghanistan, the robot decided that cricketing minnows Afghanistan would be champions.
"Of course this is very unlikely, but with cricket the outcome can always be unexpected," said Eduardo Sandoval, who developed the robot's prediction software.
Inspired by Paul the Octopus who made predictions for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Mr Sandoval decided to put Ikram to the test.
Buttler keeps vice-captaincy
Wicketkeeper Jos Buttler will continue as England's vice-captain during the World Cup, the BBC reported on Tuesday.
The 24-year-old was chosen by skipper Eoin Morgan to act as his deputy, ahead of Twenty20 captain Stuart Broad, experienced fast bowler James Anderson and batsman Joe Root. - - Compiled