There was a monumental difference between Mitchell Johnson of 2013-14 and 2014-15 season. If he terrorized the batting team a year back, he was hit to all parts in the concluded test series against India. Undoubtedly India had a much better line up but it will be unjust if we do not give a bit of credit to the pitch curators for making batsman-friendly pitches. The level of cricket played was nowhere near the quality that had been played before in Australia. Really, the pitches in Australia have lost their spite!
When fast bowlers rip into the top order batsmen, the sight of that terror being inflicted, makes for one intriguing watch. When Johnson did that against England, he brought back those days of Lilee-Thompson or McGrath-Lee steaming into the batsmen. Batsmen would come into the middle, having many things going on in their minds. When they see a forward short leg fielder while judging the field, the batsman would expect a vicious bouncer every time. All this was as enjoyable to the viewers as to the bowlers.
But during the test series involving India, we never saw or even get that feeling of that thrill and excitement. Maybe the fatal incident involving Phillip Hughes had changed the mindset of the bowlers. This was clearly depicted when Johnson ran up to Kohli to check whether the latter is fine or not after his delivery hit the emblem on the helmet. Kohli, on the other hand, did well to get a century from that position to signal the start of his domination over Johnson. Both Steven Smith and Virat Kohli scored mammoth runs in the test series depicting clearly pitches were batsman’s paradise
The introduction of the drop-in pitches in most of the stadiums in Australia has also got something to do with the changing nature of Australian pitches. In the ongoing World Cup, we will probably see the sub continental teams becoming stronger as the pitches will get slower and slower as it is being held at the back-end of the summer. During this time of the year, the pitches in Australia get slow and there will be a need of a specialist spinner. Spinners like Ravindra Jadeja may pose serious threats to the batsmen if he exploits the conditions well.
So unlike the tournaments held in subcontinents where the teams from that part of the world are favorites every time, this world cup is open for every team. The teams which will give a bit more effort will, in my opinion, get their hands on the coveted trophy.