The Cricket World Cup is just around the corner and the excitement for the tournament has been building up as the cricket spectacle looms closer. Let’s take a better look at the teams that will be participating in the cup and their chances of being victorious.
England will be looking to win the cup for the first time in many years. Their team will have the home ground advantage including their proud supporters cheering them on however; they have not been so successful in past tournaments held on home soil. The England team will be looking to Captain Eoin Morgan, to steer the ship. A player that we foresee having a big impact is the ever present Joe Root who will be looking to carry his form into the tournament.
The 5 time champions will be boosted by the arrivals of David Warner and Steve Smith who have returned from their bans leading from the ball tampering debacle. Australia is the most successful team at the World Cup thus far and always seem to peak at the right time. They have been struggling of late having lost the latest series to England, India and South Africa. Hopefully they can put the ball tampering saga behind them once and for all and look forward.
South Africa has traditionally struggled in World Cups having only made it as far as the semi-finals on 2 occasions. The Proteas have lost many stalwarts including AB de Villiers and look to be a team that still needs time to settle down.
Key players to this year’s campaign include the hard hitting David Miller, super star wicket keeper Quinton de Kock and the duo of Lungi Ngidi and Kagiso Rabada in the bowling ranks.
It will be a huge loss if Dale Steyn does not recover before the World Cup however; bowlers Chris Morris and Vernon Philander are certainly capable replacements in this department.
India will be looking to leave their mark in England this season. With their recently won series in New Zealand and Australia plus ODI series wins over the Proteas and West Indies in 2018. They have recently had a slump in form but will be looking to their talisman Virat Kohli to lead them to the title at Lord’s. Kohli has been outperforming everyone recently averaging 133.55 in 14 ODI’s in 2018. Another key player will be 24 year old newcomer, Kuldeep Yadav who claimed 48 wickets in 23 ODI’s last year.
New Zealand will be determined to step it up this year having been dominated in the last World Cup final by Australia. This year’s campaign will not be the same because the Black Caps will be without the big hitting Brendan McCallum. This means they will be looking to Captain Kane Williamson to steady the ship and bolster their chances.
The dark Horses
Sri Lanka is not the same game changers we are used to seeing. To add salt to their wounds, they have also been involved in match fixing allegations. Losing at home to Zimbabwe 3-2 will not help their cause either. Their best playmaker for the tournament is the experienced Lasith Malinga who will be leading the side. There seems to be no game changers in their batting line-up at present.
West Indies have not been in the best form of late but no one can count the islanders out when it comes to knockout cricket. The Cricket World Cup always brings the best out of the team from the Caribbean sun. Chris Gayle who is almost 40 years old will be playing in his last World Cup before retiring from ODI cricket all together. 22 year old Shimron Hetmyer whose style has parallels with past legend Brian Lara is another player to look out for.
Afghanistan will join the list of dark horses this year. They should not be underestimated having beaten Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and drawn with India in the Asia Cup in 2018. They will be hoping that spinners Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan can make an impact in England this year.
Bangladesh will be worthy title contenders having reached the quarter finals of the last World Cup in 2015. They are certainly a team on the rise having won 13 out of 20 ODI’s in 2018. They will be looking to key players Shakib Al Hasan and Mustafizur Rahman, who can make a strong impact in the World Cup having been chosen as the only Bangladesh player to make the 2018 ICC team of the year.
The Pakistani’s are always unpredictable when it comes to cricket tournaments. In the last ICC Champions Trophy they were well beaten by India in their first match and remarkably ended up defeating them in the final to take the title by 180 runs. Even though they are not seen as favourites, Pakistan have a number of talented players including Hasan Ali and the youngster, Babar Azam, who has been in great form averaging 51 in ODI matches. Surprise omissions from the squad are stalwart Mohammed Amir and Usman Shinwari.
Having looked at all the teams taking part this year, we are sure to be in for a great tournament filled with major wins, upsets and crazy run chases.
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