With less than a month to go for the 2019 World Cup (May 30) to be contested in England and Wales; all the cricketing experts have started putting forth their predictions on the winners of the mega event. The World Cup will see Australia defend the prestigious title, which they won by defeating the Kiwis in the finals of 2015 edition in their own backyard. Former New Zealand wicket-keeper batsman Ian Smith reckons that the current format of the upcoming 50-overs quadrennial event will suit the Kiwi team.
The upcoming World Cup will be contested in a round-robin format, the same which was followed in the 1992 edition. On that occasion, the number of teams was nine with Zimbabwe being the only non-Test-playing nation. This time, however, all 10 teams are Test-playing while two more Test-playing nations – Zimbabwe and Ireland – missed out.
There is no weak groups or strong groups
During a recent conversation, Ian Smith in this World Cup all the ten teams will be facing each other and thus there are nothing like weak or strong groups. He believes that this round-robin format gives New Zealand an advantage. Smith noted that the first 10 days of the upcoming tournament would be very much crucial for the Kane Williamson-led team.
“Everybody has to play everybody. There’s no weak groups or strong groups or ‘pools of death’ or anything like that. And from New Zealand’s point of view I think that suits us and I also believe that in our situation in particular, we’ve got a very, very important first 10 days of the tournament,” quoted Ian Smith.
The 2015 World Cup runners-up, New Zealand, were the first team to announce its final 15-player squad for the upcoming 2019 World Cup. The all-important 50-overs mega event will be kicking off with the opening game between hosts England and South Africa on May 30 in London. Kiwis will be starting their World Cup campaign against Sri Lanka on June 1 in Cardiff.
“We’re playing against Sri Lanka, we’re playing against Afghanistan and we’re playing against Bangladesh. Now they’re three teams that we either should beat, or have beaten recently quite comfortably, and so for that reason I think they become very integral to what we’re doing,” Smith added.