ICC World Cup 2019: Shaun Pollock backs two teams as champions
"I think there will only be about six teams capable of really competing."
It’s yet some time for the fever of the ICC World Cup 2019 to build up but some experts are already ready with their opinions on the probable winner in the 12th edition. Former South Africa captain Shaun Pollock is one of them and he felt it is either India or hosts England who will bag the title this year. The World Cup will be held in England and Wales this year with the first match to be played on May 30. South Africa will take on England at the Oval in the inaugural match.
Shaun, a descendant of South Africa’s famous cricketing family – Pollocks – himself played in four World Cups (1996-2007) and captained the side in the 2003 edition played at home. The 45-year-old former bowling all-rounder felt though the competition features 10 teams, the real competition for the title will be limited to six of them.
Only six teams will count, feels Pollock
“There are only 10 teams and each team played each other before the semi-finals, but I think there will only be about six teams capable of really competing for the trophy,” Pollock told the media, as per inputs from Sport24.
The former cricketer, who now does the work of analyst and commentator, said teams like Afghanistan, Bangladesh and former champions Windies and Sri Lanka will not last the distance in the tournament. And that left England, India, South Africa, New Zealand, Pakistan, and Australia.
“Australia struggled recently but I believe the return of Steve Smith and David Warner will make a big difference. New Zealand are currently playing good cricket but I do think India and England are the favourites to win the event,” Pollock said.
England are currently ranked No.1 in the ICC’s rankings while India are at No.2 position and they have quite a lead over the rest of the teams. England have never won the trophy, finishing runners-up on three occasions while India have won it twice – in 1983 and 2011.
On chances of his own country, Pollock felt the Proteas will believe that can make the semi-finals and from there, it could be anybody’s game. The Proteas have made the semi-finals of the World Cup four times since playing their first tournament in 1992 but couldn’t break that barrier even once.