With a few days before the 2019 World Cup (May 30) gets underway, it is time for the prediction hats to come off the closet. The upcoming showpiece event will see Australia defend the prestigious title, which they won by defeating the Kiwis in the finals of 2015 edition in their own backyard. The most recent person to put forth his prediction for the coming 50-overs quadrennial tournament is former Indian cricketer and 2011 World Cup winner, Gautam Gambhir.
During a recent interview with the Times of India, Gambhir mentioned that the reigning champions Australia are his favourites for the upcoming World Cup in England and Wales. He also picked hosts England and two-time winners India as his joint second-favourite teams.
“Australia are my first favourite. They should definitely play the final and their opposition in the final will be between two of my joint second-favourite teams, England and India,” Gautam Gambhir was quoted as saying by the Times of India.
Teams will have to be on their toes
Gambhir mentioned that the competition will be very much tough in the coming 50-overs competition and thus, all the teams need to be on their toes in order to live up to the expectations. 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.
“It should be a very interesting World Cup and there will be tough fight among at least six countries. Each team will have to play with each other in this World Cup. Teams will have to be on their toes for all the matches. No team can afford to relax in any of the group league match,” Gambhir added.
While revealing the essential qualities of a world champion team, Gambhir said, “First of all, self-belief. Everyone in the team should have the confidence that they can win the Cup. Then, to perform consistently. Planning and implementation is also very important. And on top of it, the team should have a happy dressing room. Everyone should know about the minute details of the problems and their solutions. If any team can tick all of these boxes, they have a better chance of winning the World Cup.”