ICC World Cup 2019: Issues teams need to sort out ahead of the tournament
All the teams will look to sort out these issues ahead of the showpiece event.
Updated - Nov 6, 2018 9:09 pm
The 12th edition of the cricket World Cup will be held in England and Wales between May 30 and July 14 next year. This is the fifth time that the quadrennial tournament will be hosted by England after 1975, 1979, 1983 and 1999. A total of 10 teams will participate in the upcoming edition which is again a new since 1992 when nine teams had participated. There is no group stage in this World Cup as all teams will play against each other before the best four advance to the semi-finals.
Five of the 10 participating teams in this World Cup are from Asia (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan) apart from South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the Windies besides the hosts.
Who have the best chance of lifting the trophy at the Lord’s on July 14, when the final will be played?
Answering this is not easy prior to the tournament since there is not much difference in performance of the teams in limited-overs cricket today. We can still have a look at the stories of the 10 participating teams (as per their ICC rankings) and make a comparative study to understand who stands where in the pursuit of the world crown.
They are not only the hosts but also the No. 1 side in ODIs, as per the ICC rankings, and look favourites to win the trophy. This is something unique for the Three Lions as they have never been the hosts and the best-ranked side together.
In the four World Cups they have hosted in the past, it was either the Windies or Australia who reigned as champions and won the World Cup on English soil (yes, we very much keep in mind India’s feat in 1983). This makes it a golden opportunity for England to erase their disappointing history of finishing as the runners-up on three occasions and win their maiden title.
Given the side’s ongoing form, it is highly likely that the Brits will win the title easily but given cricket’s ill-reputation as a funny game, Eoin Morgan’s side will have to minimise its weakness when the time comes. True, there are not many weaknesses that England have at the moment but yet, they need to address their ability to deal with spin and also on the conversion rates of their batsmen.
The team has a lot of hard-hitters and they are expected to shine well in front of their home crowd, but there could be a shortcoming when it comes to building the innings on a day when chips are down.
The next best team to England in ODI cricket is certainly India and the ICC ranking also justifies it. The team is a powerhouse in limited-overs cricket but their irony could be to struggle to find the correct combination in the playing XI from a vast pool of players.
India will be particularly working on getting their middle-order in place barring the two openers – Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan – and captain Virat Kohli, the remaining batting slots are yet to find fixed occupants. The pace bowling department has to find a fixed No.3 after Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah. One of India’s risk will be Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Though the former captain remains as agile behind the stumps, his batting form is likely to be a weak link down the order if he is indeed picked for the mega event.