Australia and New Zealand won’t have any time to ease into the World Cup as they get ready to play their opening matches against England and Sri Lanka respectively.
The tournament kicks-off with a bang as these four heavyweights are all involved on the opening day on Saturday.
The biggest game is arguably the one between Australia and England, with Australia entering the match as favourites after their recent success against their arch enemies. The Aussies also happen to start the tournament as the number one ranked ODI team in the world.
Michael Clarke will miss his team’s opening game against the Poms, which means George Bailey will captain the team.
Australia will play their first game at the MCG in front of 90 000 people.
‘I’m mainly excited. I certainly feel like we’ve been ready cricket-wise for a long time,’ said Bailey in his pre-match press conference.
‘So I think it’s just the anticipation and excitement. Obviously a lot of talk about a big crowd, big tournament, and a big clash to kick it off. All things that I think the boys are just very, very excited about.
‘I think naturally when you get closer to a big tournament, yeah, you become a little tense, you become a little anxious, but more in anticipation of what’s ahead. In many ways a World Cup sort of structure gives you a little bit of downtime to enjoy yourself a bit more and have a few days off.
‘Certainly in typical series where you’re playing, flying, playing, it gets really draining. A World Cup set-up means we’ll spend a bit more time as a group in different cities and hopefully enjoy each other’s company. So managing that will be important. Make sure we build up and we are ready to go come game days. In between that making sure we find the time to switch off and rejuvenate and relax.’
According to Bailey he’s not worried about coping with the pressure and expectation of playing the World Cup on home soil.
‘I’m certainly not (feeling the pressure), but I have nothing to compare it against. I’m just certainly looking forward to the fact that we get to, I guess, enjoy some home comforts. Enjoy some home support and embrace the opportunity that comes around having a World Cup at home. Which we’ve spoken about it’s an opportunity that you’re borne into.
‘It’s part luck. There have been some amazing Australian sides that have won World Cups all over the world, some amazing Australian players that have never had the opportunity to play at home. You can view that as pressure if you like. You can view it as what a wonderful opportunity and honor. And I think that’s the way we’re trying to approach it.’