The 2019 edition of the World Cup in England and Wales has already gotten underway on May 30 and the tournament has already been a witness to five matches. After four one-sided affairs, yesterday’s match between Bangladesh and South Africa at the Kennington Oval in London turned out to be a cliffhanger. Meanwhile, India is yet to take part in the mega event.
The team, captained by the enigmatic Virat Kohli, played a couple of warm-up matches against New Zealand and Bangladesh in London and Cardiff. After a few days’ break, the Men in Blue are scheduled to lock horns with South Africa on June 5 at the Rose Bowl in Southampton. In the meantime, Ravi Ashwin, India’s Test specialist, put forth the probable finalists in the World Cup.
“Looking at them from a long shot, the balance India has got in terms of pace, spin and the batting prowess, I think India are the favourites. Looking at the other teams, I think India and England will play in the final. That is my prediction,” Ashwin, who was a part of India’s 2011 World Cup-winning squad, was quoted as saying in Times Now.
Ashwin reckons India as the favourites and that’s because of their firepower in the batting lineup. Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan have been fulcrums of the team and were among the leading last scorers last year in the ODI format. The trio has a combined tally of 79 centuries in the 50-overs cricket and has been a major reason behind India’s impressive run.
India are the favourites because look at the batting
Ashwin also remarked that Hardik Pandya, the 25-year-old all-rounder, has emerged as a great player. Furthermore, he lauded MS Dhoni and thinks that he has a calming influence in the middle order. The 32-year-old Ashwin heaped praises on Jasprit Bumrah as well, saying that he can deliver both with the new ball and at the death.
“India are the favourites because look at the batting that we have. Top three we have Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, and Virat Kohli. Rohit and Virat are two of the best batsmen in the world. The way Virat paces his innings and the kind of firepower that Rohit has, he is one of those batsmen who can change gears any time. Apart from that, we have a balanced setup,” Ashwin concluded.