This answer was originally posted on Quora as Thomas Foster's answer to Who is the favourite to win the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015?
I’ll do this in descending order of favouritism:
I’d think an Australia vs India final is the most likely scenario. Australia and India are currently the top two ODI teams in the rankings. Australia’s only problems are going to come through injury, although I think they’ve got the depth to win even if a Michael Clarke or Mitchell Johnson misses all or part of the tournament through injury.
India are going to have played a lot of cricket in Australia by the time the World Cup final rolls around, plus they have a fairly talented team. India’s only problem might be if they struggle to gain momentum throughout the tournament and lose in the quarter or semi finals. (EDIT: their tri-series performance has been laughable. Probably out of the race as a likely finalist)
Not Too Far Behind
I wouldn’t be surprised to see any of South Africa, Sri Lanka and New Zealand making the semi finals (I know only four teams can!). South Africa and Sri Lanka are the two teams behind Australia and India, while New Zealand often performs well at World Cups and has a home ground advantage for most of their games.
Hanging in There
While both of these teams have the potential to win, I highly doubt they will. England’s team is in a bit of turmoil following the dumping of Alastair Cook and I don’t think the air will have cleared in time to realistically challenge for the World Cup. Pakistan probably won’t worry the likes of Australia, India, South Africa, etc.
The West Indies probably don’t deserve to be so out of contention, but it looks like they’ll be taking an under strength squad into the tournament. Zimbabwe and Bangladesh don’t trouble the more highly ranked teams too much, although I wouldn’t discount a couple of upsets.
Completely Out of the Race
Afghanistan’s rise up the ODI rankings (they weren’t even a team 13 years ago) is something to be amazed by, but I think they’re still outsiders when it comes to doing well at a World Cup (relative to other teams). I would wait and see how Afghanistan is going in 2019 - with a bit of luck they could potentially make the quarter finals then.
Ireland could probably expect to beat England (The Poms have a knack of losing to them) if they were in England’s group, but alas, they are not. Ireland might be able to upset Pakistan, the West Indies or Zimbabwe, and it’s likely they’ll beat the UAE
Scotland has slipped down the rankings a bit in recent years and so I doubt they’ll be able to win, although they could always upset England. Afghanistan, the only other associate member in Group A, will probably beat them.
The UAE have won a single World Cup game, from their previous appearance in 1996. Unless they beat Ireland, which I don’t think they will, I think they’ll probably finish this tournament winless.</span>