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ICC World Cup 2019: Herschelle Gibbs names the strong contenders for the mega event

"A lot depends on the weather in England."

Herschelle Gibbs
Herschelle Gibbs of Leo Lions. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

As the ICC World Cup 2019 is drawing nearer, experts are coming up with their own favourites and a majority of them till now have backed hosts England and two-time champions India as strong contenders this time. England and India are ranked first and second in the ICC’s tables with some gap over the rest of the teams. While England will be strong at home this WC, India’s performance over the past several months in the 50-over format makes them an equally powerful contender.

Former South Africa opening batsman Herschelle Gibbs also find “standout contenders” in England and India though he stopped short of naming the other two teams that could make the semi-finals, saying the weather conditions in England will be decisive.

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“It is always wide open. The two standout contenders will be England and India. But, who is going to make the other two places for the semi-finals? It is difficult to say. A lot depends on the weather in England. The bowling attacks will all play a part (in the tournament),” The Pioneer cited reports as quoting Gibbs.

The former cricketer, who played in three World Cups (1999-2007) and had infamously dropped the World Cup’ in a crucial Super Six clash against Australia in England in 1999 by spilling an easy catch of Steve Waugh, was speaking at a promotional event of OTT video service provider ‘Viu’ in Mumbai. ‘Viu’ announced the launch of ‘IB Cricket Super Over League’ on the occasion.

Lack of quality all-rounders SA’s problem

When asked about his own country’s chances in the showpiece event, Gibbs said that more than the absence of AB de Villiers, it is about the lack of quality all-rounder in the Proteas side that could be a key concern.

“We (South Africa) are always up there irrespective of ABD. We have got Faf (Du Plessis) and Quinton de Kock. The only issue for South Africa is not having an all-rounder,” Gibbs said. De Villiers, who led SA in the 2015 edition in Australia and New Zealand, quit international cricket last year leaving a lot of fans dejected. The side is now being led by batsman Faf du Plessis.

Gibbs also said on the occasion that he was perfectly okay with Test matches finishing in four days but said that he wanted the batters to get more tested in the longer format.

Gibbs scored over 14,000 runs across all three formats of the game with 35 hundreds.

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