World Cup 2019: All these cricketing greats have led their national sides to World Cup titles and their opinions carry a lot of weight.
The World Cup 2019 is just days away. All the teams have been sweating on the field in the warm-up matches to fine tune their preparation before entering the mega event. While all teams look strong on paper, winning in the World Cup will be an uphill task and these teams know that the challenge will be extreme.
Former cricket players have picked their favourites ahead of the marquee event.
The ‘God of Cricket’ holds the record of scoring most runs in the World Cup. Tendulkar has predicted that India will lift the World Cup trophy. The cricket maestro has also picked Afghanistan to be the “surprise package” at this year’s World Cup. Afghanistan has begun their World Cup tour well by beating Pakistan in the warm-up match.
India has a good chance of winning the World Cup under the captaincy of Kohli and Dhoni’s guidance, feels Tendulkar. The former batting maestro says that having an experienced player like Dhoni behind the stumps is always a bonus.
Australian bowling great Glenn McGrath has handpicked England as the favourites to lift the upcoming World Cup. McGrath, however, was quick to add that India and Australia are serious contenders for the WC title based on their current form. He also predicted that Australia will go till the finals.
McGrath had announced his retirement from international cricket after winning the Player of the Tournament in the World Cup 2007 in which Australia came out victorious. He also hold the record for the most number of wickets in World Cup tournaments.
Former West Indies captain Clive Llyod hopes that England would be the ultimate winners. “They are a good balanced side. England will be a very tough competitor this time,” he said. Lloyd, who led the Carribean side to two World Cup titles, opines that the all-rounders will play a major and decisive role in the upcoming World Cup.
Lloyd also appeared hopeful of a good show from West Indies World Cup squad at this year’s marquee event.
Australia won two consecutive World Cups under Ricky Ponting’s captaincy. Ponting considers the England side to be the strongest in this edition of the World Cup. Ponting feels England hold an advantage over the other teams as they will be playing in their home conditions.
Before coming to World Cup, England’s batting line-up went on full-throttle with Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Joe Root and Jason Roy making the Pakistani bowling attack look ordinary. The England men’s team has never won a 50-overs World Cup and would be looking to change that this time around. They have won seven out of their last nine ODI series, including victories over India, Australia and New Zealand.