Sport gives everyone a second chance and cricket is no different. We have witnessed numerous heartbreaks, joys, defeats, victories, turnarounds, excitement, thrill and rush in the last calendar year in cricket, as many teams had decent outings and others had forgettable times.

With the World Cup and other major tournaments lined up in 2019, let's take a look at what all the teams must have planned for their New Year resolutions.

England - To finally win the World Cup in 2019

Demolishing each and every team, England have been a brute force in the past few years in the limited-overs format whether they played at home or away. Currently the number one ranked side in 50-overs format, the team has well-balanced players with a good mix of bowlers, batsmen, and all-rounders.

In 2019, the Englishmen should not be overconfident and waste the opportunity to win their maiden World Cup. There is no way to stop this British juggernaut led by Eoin Morgan other than them committing mistakes themselves. Undoubtedly, the favourites to lift the prestigious trophy following a rich vein of form, the three lions should avoid mistakes from the past and win the trophy at home this time.

Australia - Keep controversies at bay

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Always in the news for the wrong reasons both on and off the field, Australia gave the cricket world the biggest controversy in 2018 due to their ball-tampering scandal (also known as ‘Sandpaper Gate’ scandal). During a Test match against South Africa in March 2018, captain Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner, and opener Cameron Bancroft, were booked for tampering with the ball using sandpaper. All three were banned for their role in the scandal.

Australian cricketers have always been termed as “Bad Boys” of the cricket world for claiming wrong catches to going overboard with sledging. Now, they should have the goal to set a record of no controversies in a calendar year and play with fair means no matter whether they win or lose.

South Africa - Win their first World Cup semi-final

Since their re-induction in cricket in 1992, South Africa are known for getting nervous and choking in the crucial matches of the major tournaments. Adding on to this, all the forces such as weather, luck, and others seemingly join hands to act against the team. At times, due to the harsh ruling of Duckworth-Lewis method or due to their own nerves and failure to handle the situation, the Proteas have often lost important matches.

When entering any major tournament, being a strong and brutal team they are, they are definitely everyone's favourites to lift the trophy. Although they are capable of demolishing any side, it seems destiny never favours the team. South Africa’s new year resolution should be to get rid of the “chokers” tag once and for all with the World Cup in 2019.

New Zealand - To spend at least a year playing consistent cricket

The Kiwis have never been able to get the recognition of the greatest team due to inconsistency in their performance at the highest level, even though they are known for playing fair cricket with true sportsman spirit. However, they have beaten even the best teams in the world but also lost to the most mediocre of the opponents.

To become a greater team like India or England, all that New Zealand need is to play with more responsibility and commitment. The Kane Williamson-led side need to be more consistent on the field for at least a year. The team lack exposure and needs much better scheduling of their cricket in the upcoming year to not waste the immense potential of their players which can take the team to high ranks.

Pakistan - To keep continue playing at ‘home’

Due to security concerns in their homeland, United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been Pakistan's adoptive home and the team adapted to the conditions really well, turning the desert nation into their fortress. It is a formidable task for any visiting team to beat Pakistan in UAE, but nowadays, teams like New Zealand are also managing to win a Test series and a weak Aussie side also gave them a run for their money.

In the past year or so, the Sarfraz Ahmed-led team haven’t played much cricket outside UAE as a result of which their achievements mostly went unnoticed. Since they are currently tagged as “home bully”, it is time the management should take steps to revive Pakistan cricket once again as a priority and schedule a few series against quality sides outside the sub-continent. No doubt they had a memorable time in the T20 format ending as the No 1 ranked team last year.

Bangladesh - To play higher-ranked teams and keep improving

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In the year 2018, Bangladesh had played all the bilateral series against sides ranked lower than them and the only time they played against a quality side was either in triangular one-day series (with one side still of low rank) or in the Asia Cup where they had no choice but to play good sides like India or Pakistan. Over the years, Bangladesh have been an improved side especially in the limited-overs format and now it takes some effort even for the better teams to beat them.

But now it is time Bangladesh grows beyond  by playing bilateral series against top-ranked sides which will not only provide them areas to work upon to grow better but also give them the much needed confidence that is beneficial in the long-term. The goal of the sub-continental nation in 2019 should be to play a few series against better sides in both Tests and ODIs and not waste the talents of the Lions by being complacent.

Afghanistan - Last for more than a session while batting in next Test

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Afghanistan were awarded the Test status by the ICC in 2017 for giving so many quality T20 players to the leagues around the world. In 2018, they have lost the only Test they played against mighty India, the number-one Test side. At their dominant best at home, India ensured the game ended within two days and the visitors lost by an innings and 262 runs.

The young Afghanistan side were able to survive for just a session while batting in both their innings, as the new entrants were directly put on the field against the top-ranked Test side in red-ball cricket. Hence, Asghar Afghan’s side should make a resolution in new year to bat for more than a session in an innings at least the next time they play Test cricket.

India - To get the opposition tail out cheaply in Tests, win World Cup

The major reason for India’s defeat many times in the past in the five-day format was their inability to get the opposition tail out cheaply. Indian bowlers lacked any concrete plan to get Sam Curran out early which proved costly in the series against England. They let the batters from No 8 add enough runs in the innings. It proved to be the difference and thus India lost the series to hosts England.

Though India are not scheduled to play a lot of overseas Tests in the upcoming cycle, it should come up with a solid plan and make sure the bowlers get rid of the opposition tail before it wags, which will certainly help them in ODI cricket.

Also, India, with their superb ODI form, will be hoping to carry on and win the World Cup in 2019. The “Men in blue” have been in roaring form in the 50-over format and they will be one of the favourites for the quadrennial showpiece event.

Sri Lanka - To keep switching captains every match

After the retirement of their great players, Sri Lanka have been struggling to find quality players to fill the void. Angelo Mathews’ resignation from captaincy was another problem that came up in 2017 while the team was in the building phase. The team management since then has been finding it difficult to find a perfect leader and keeps on switching captains.

The team have tried four different captains - Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Suranga Lakmal, and Thisara Perera and kept on switching them almost every series in the past year alone which has hampered the team's performance due to inconsistency in leadership. It's time the management takes cognisance of the situation, stops moving captains around and sticks with a single captain based on merit. Currently, Lasith Malinga wears the limed-overs captain hat as they have decided to pick captains on a series by series basis.

Windies - Keep rebuilding

Many top Windies players opted to not play for the international side anymore following the payments dispute with the cricket board.  They preferred the lucrative T20 leagues around the world and it has affected the team.

After a very long time, some positives have come for the Islanders with the emergence of new talent. Windies cricket sees the hope of revival once again after playing a competitive series with India recently and with a capable T20I leader in young Carlos Brathwaite, the team has to set some realistic goals for revival. As the squad is young with few of them just starting their international career, patience and guidance is the key for the Islanders to achieve those goals in 2019.