Australia, just recently, have gone for an incredibly long time without winning a Test match. They haven't been able to find a settled side, and have lost games that they should have won as a result. Over the next five years, I expect that their players will find their roles in the side and the elder statesmen will phase out gradually.
Nathan Lyon will establish himself as a good, competent Test spinner who knows his game very well. He has climbed into the top 20 bowlers in the world already, and will in time move up into the top ten. Peter Siddle will also be a key member of the attack, while various other seamers rotate around the side while trying not to get injured.
At the top of the order, David Warner's attacking style will win more Tests than it loses, although he will bounce in and out of the side because of his discipline. Jordan Silk has been touted as the next big thing at the top of the order, and will probably find a place, while Steve Smith and Phillip Hughes eventually make up the middle order. Three and four will remain problem positions for the Australians, as Shane Watson and Michael Clarke aren't getting any younger and have battled injuries for a long time. Joe Burns will probably settle in at three, averaging somewhere modest in the thirties.
In limited-overs cricket, a battery of all-rounders (Henriques, Maxwell, Faulkner, Mitch Marsh, Agar) will mean that no target is out of Australia's reach. Fawad Ahmed will prove to be little more than a passing fad, and Ashton Agar will prove himself to be the perfect stock spinner for white ball cricket after Doherty is disposed of. George Bailey's leadership and batting will both prove to be crucial in these formats, and possibly the Test side too.
Not world class, but competent, Steve Smith will be the sort of batsman who does his job every time.
In Test cricket, Australia will probably be fighting to be a top-four team, probably settling eventually in fifth, but with the white ball, I can see them being much more potent. A genuine contender in their home World Cup, with hitting all the way down the batting order, they will be one of the best run-chasing teams going around.
Bangladesh cricketing history has been littered with false dawns, and I think we're moving through another one at the moment. Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan; both are extremely classy players. However, the same issues seem to be permanently ingrained into the side: ill-disciplined batting and poor pace bowling. Worryingly, the talent that is coming through doesn't look like it will cut it either, judging by their woeful performances in the current 'A' team tour of England, during which they have lost every single match they've played but one, mostly against county second teams.
In Test cricket, the next generation of players which includes Mominul Haque and Abul Hasan will generally prove to be over-hyped. They will give their best, but much will continue to depend on Hasan, Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim. The two players to watch out for, though, will be Nasir Hossain and Anamul Haque. Both have arrived with a bang, and have continued to impress. In particular, Nasir will be a crucial player in all formats.
Tamim Iqbal will continue to be pivotal to Bangladeshi fortunes,
The talents of Tamim and Shakib will be instrumental in carrying Bangladesh to some victories in Twenty20 cricket where the performance of a single talented individual can win a game on his own. However, in Tests where all eleven players must contribute, I cannot see Bangladesh beating anyone except Zimbabwe regularly.
England, I fear, are teetering on the edge of tumbling down the rankings. Kevin Pietersen and Graeme Swann both seem to be approaching the end of their careers, while question marks exist about how long Jimmy Anderson will be able to keep carrying an entire bowling attack before his body insists that he stops. Certainly, in five years his Test career will have finished, and at the minute, there does not appear to be a replacement for him.
Joe Root and Alastair Cook will probably still be at the top of the order, but Jonathan Trott will probably have been and gone. Gary Ballance, James Taylor and Jonny Bairstow will probably make up the middle order around Ian Bell, who will be in the twilight of his career. Matt Prior, too, will have handed over his mantle, hopefully to Steven Davies, although Ben Foakes seems to be getting groomed as his successor. Simon Kerrigan may have recovered from his debut to become a competent Test spinner, while the new generation of seamers will include my personal favourite, Toby Roland-Jones.
Toby Roland-Jones will be a Test star soon.
In the one-day and Twenty20 formats, I expect England to struggle. At present, there just seems to be a lack of purpose about us in these formats, and I'm not sure I can see that changing quickly. In all, I expect the notion of "the powerful England side" to go out of the window quite soon, although they will probably hold their own as the third or fourth best Test nation.
For India, at least, the future looks very bright. A huge quantity of young batsmen, most notably Shikhar Dhawan and Chetashwar Pujara; Dinesh Karthik's emergence as a natural successor to MS Dhoni as gloveman; Virat Kohli's leadership; hugely talented seamers like Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
The BCCI, whatever you may say about them, has created a system that has eased these young players up through the ranks towards the national team very seamlessly. They are also blessed with the biggest talent pool of any cricketing nation (a population of a billion, obsessed to a man with cricket) and an unusually talented group emerging from that talent pool. As long as they don't rest on their laurels, they are moving into the start of an era.
India will rule the cricketing world on the field as well as in the bank.
I think that India will be the team to beat in all three formats for years to come. Their huge talent pool, and era of incredibly talented young players across all three formats, will simply mean that they are better equipped to put out eleven top class players than the next side. I predict that they will retain the World Cup in 2015.
New Zealand are getting the makings of a good side together. Their seam attack, with Southee, Milne, Boult, Wagner, McCleneghan and Mills to cover all formats, will see them very nicely through the next few years. Of course, Mills is reaching the end of his career, but I think that he will have much to offer his younger brethren, perhaps in a coaching capacity.
The batting also looks quite promising. Hamish Rutherford, Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson, and possibly still Brendon McCullum, will be the core of an accomplished line-up to which Jesse Ryder may be added if he can get his life straight. The only real area that looks weak is spin bowling. Whether the answer is to get Kane Williamson to work on his offies to free up space for another seamer, or is to play a stock spinner who will just keep it tight, I'm not sure, but even now there is no clear successor to Daniel Vettori, which is all the more worrying given that he hasn't played for New Zealand for some time. The other man that I tip for success is all-rounder Harry Boam. He is yet to break into the national side, but fits nicely into the Kiwi tradition of bits-and-pieces all-rounders.
Hamish Rutherford will add flair to a competent side.
New Zealand will not be world beaters, they simply do not have the resources. What they will be, I think, is exceedingly difficult to beat, especially at home. They already are, judging by Matt Prior's celebration after drawing a Test. In limited overs cricket, the Kiwis are generally well-drilled and combative, and if Hamish Bennett can find full fitness, they will have a world class death bowler.