That was the World Cup that was
How Australia won the World Cup and what it means to England and the rest of the world.
The favourites won the World Cup. They won because they had the best team. Is it as simple as that?
Pretty much. Other countries had great players, South Africans De Villiers and Steyn are as good as anyone. In Jawawardene, Sangakkara and Dilshan, Sri Lanka had three of the best one day batsmen the world has ever seen. India have Kohli, Sharma and Ashwin. All well versed in the new IPL-inspired ODI game. The beaten finalists New Zealand had the best openers in the tournament in Guptill and McCullum and opening bowlers in Southee and Boult to match any team.
But Australia had the best team. Their batsmen were a combination of their most aggressive Test players and ODI specialists. They had strokemakers and hitters. They had great opening bowlers, good back up seamers and a death overs specialist in Faulkner who can also hit quick 30s and 40s. They had the depth in quality to cope with any situation, any adversity that they came across.
Yet they aren't perfect. The opening batsmen performed well individually, but failed to put together an opening partnership over 50. Though Maxwell did better than expected with the ball, he isn't a top class spinner. Is this a chink in their armour that means they aren't invincible or does it mean they can improve even more? The answer will be found in four years' time.
Anyone who wants to win the World Cup in England in 2019 will need a great team, not just great players. They will need a batting line up capable of scoring 350 on a regular basis. They will need opening bowlers to take at least two wickets in the first ten overs, middle overs control with a top spinner and death bowlers with variety, skill and nerve.
Do England look they like they can produce that kind of team for the next World Cup? No.
Did Australia deserve to win the Cricket World Cup?