The Age – This year, the circumstances are unique and already invigorating.


  • Every team is a threat, as demonstrated by Pakistan’s win over the favourites, England, who bring a better team, a more focused preparation and greater desperation than in all previous World Cups.
  • LoadingThe reason for this upswing in the standard of batting and bowling owes much to Twenty20, just as the one-day format had an improving effect on Test cricket from the 1980s onwards.
  • The targeting of Steve Smith and David Warner will last as long as Australia are a chance.
  • Any hope of it abating was extinguished by coach Justin Langer’s appeal for English crowds to show ‘respect’ for Smith and Warner, who served one-year suspensions for their part in the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal.
  • England don’t fear Mohammed Amir, whereas visions of Smith and Warner hoisting the Cup will give them sleepless nights.

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