If Vivo IPL was a short-film, the biggest blockbuster in the #SummerOfSports is next! The ICC Cricket World Cup (CWC), 2019 is here, and it promises a spectacle. Who will emerge at the top remains to be seen, but rest assured, everyone will bring their A game. Let’s look at the champion teams and ones who can potentially upset their apple carts.
The defending champions, Australia, are beaming with confidence. They triumphed against India and Pakistan in their own backyards this year — a fantastic feat. With the return of David Warner and Steve Smith, Australia will be fancying their chances at lifting the trophy.
England boasts of a side that has the potential to take the game away from any opponent they face. Their batting can chase down any total, and their bowling can choke any batting line-up. They don’t seem to be having any weak spots in their team composition.
If there is one team that can challenge England and Australia, it’s India. England has been a happy hunting ground for India — in ICC tournaments. Under Virat Kohli’s leadership, this team has the money to go the distance.
South Africa will be keen to shed its ‘chokers’ tag by winning its maiden ICC Cricket World Cup. They have the best chance to do it this time. It boasts of a settled side which has been playing brilliant cricket this year.
Then, there is New Zealand, which has always managed to punch above its weight in earlier editions. On their day, they can surprise any opposition. If there is a little moisture in the air, their seamers can scythe through the best batting line-ups.
Pakistan and West Indies may be unpredictable, but they can be dangerous. Both of them may lack the consistency of the heavyweights, but have individual match-winning superstars. Imagine Andre Russell and Chris Gayle being at the crease for any length of time! Complete mayhem, there!
In Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir, Pakistan has the most potent left-arm fast bowlers in the world. If their top-order can fire consistently, we may be in for a cricketing coup.
Afghanistan will hope that their two leggies — Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rehman — spin a web around batsmen. Bangladesh will look to their batting, especially Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim, to compensate for the lack of match-winning fast bowlers. Sri Lanka’s skipper Dimuth Karunaratne led them to an improbable victory in the test series in South Africa late last year. He will be hoping for a similar giant-killing act in the ICC CWC, 2019.