With Mumbai Indians bagging the 12th edition of the Indian Premier league the focus now shifts to England and Wales which will host the quadrennial ICC Cricket World Cup from May 30 to July 14. With the tournament being reduced to 10 teams from 14 that played the previous edition in Australia-New Zealand it is expected to be fiercely competitive. From the world of cricket punters to the average cricket fans on the street everyone has one question in mind – who will win the 2019 Cricket World Cup? At this outset it is a tough as k to come up with World Cup predictions but the form and preparations of the sides do give us some hints into the probable winner for the event.
Before we go further into picking our list of favorites for the tournament it is worth making a mention about the format being followed. This year’s edition will follow the format that was last tried in 1992 format that was last tried in 1992 where all the ten teams are placed in a single group and will play each other before the top four qualify for the semi-finals. This format will make the tournament exceedingly competitive and all the teams will have to play hard cricket to make it to the knockout stages of the tournament.
As far as World Cup winner prediction goes it isn’t difficult to pick up the four teams that are likely to head into the semi-finals of the tournament. So here is our pick of the teams that are likely to finish top four in the league stage.
The reigning world champions haven’t enjoyed the best of success in the preceding two years. First it was their drop in form and this was followed by the infamous incident of ball tampering that lead to one-year bans for skipper Steven Smith and his deputy David Warner. Australian side suffered heavy defeats in the interim period but their 5-0 win over Pakistan in UAE last month has shifted momentum on their side. The return of Warner and Smith further strengths the Aaron Finch led squad that already boasts of players like Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins who can win games on their own. The lack of a quality spinner might hurt their chances in the tournament though.
The hosts never had a side that went into the world cup as THE FAVORITES but this English squad is different. It has been quite a turnaround for the side after the debacle in the last edition. Since then Eoin Morgan’s boys have been the most successful ODI side in the world. Their all-dominating batting can put up 300+ scores straight out of the bed with players like Jos Buttler, Jason Roy, Morgan, Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler. The only worrying thing for the side is its bowling attack which lacks a good death bowler. The performance of their two spinners Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid will be vital to their success in the tournament.
They were knocked out in the semi-finals by Australia in the last edition but have since then been one of the most consistent sides in the world. Led by the run machine Virat Kohli they have a formidable top order with players like Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan and the experience of MS Dhoni in the lower order. Jasprit Bumrah is unarguably the best death bowler in the world and their spin twins of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal make the bowling look strong. A shaky middle order and a long tail are the weaknesses that the side will need to play around with in the tournament.
# New Zealand
The runners up in the previous edition New Zealand have come a long way since their defeat at MCG against Australia. They have one of the best batting line-ups in the tournament with Martin Guptil, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor being in good form. The side bats deep and this might serve as a huge advantage going into the tournament. Bowling is however the weak-link of the side as they haven’t been able to find a quality bowler beyond their fast bowing duo of Tim Southee and Trent Boult which may lead to their undoing in the tournament. Nonetheless they would count their chances in the tournament.
It remains to be seen which among these sides is able to lift the trophy at Lord’s on July 14 and be crowned the new world champions.