India a real force in 2019 World Cup with Virat Kohli at the helm, says Waqar Younis

India a real force in 2019 World Cup with Virat Kohli at the helm, says Waqar Younis

India won the 2011 World Cup on home soil.

England v India - 1st ODI: Royal London One-Day Series
Virat Kohli of India. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Former Pakistani fast bowler Waqar Younis feels India are a force to reckon with in the upcoming 2019 ICC World Cup under Virat Kohli’s leadership. The Men in Blue have been in fine form of late, having lifted the Asia Cup for a seventh time after defeating Bangladesh in a thrilling final. In the 2015 edition of the ICC World Cup, India were knocked out in the semi-finals by eventual champions Australia on their home turf. 2011, however, was a historical year in Indian cricket when they lifted the World Cup after 28 years.

Following a format similar to the one used in the 1992 World Cup, all 10 teams will play each other in a round-robin stage in a single group. Like all other teams, India will play 9 matches against Australia, England, Pakistan, West Indies, Bangladesh, South Africa, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan.

India will develop into a very good side: Waqar Younis

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Younis said: “I mean India will always be the force going into the World Cup because with Virat Kohli coming back, they will develop into a very good side.”

The former paceman also lauded India’s fielding standards, saying, “Batting has always been there. Now the fielding standard has also been very high with all these youngsters showing their fitness and skills.”

Waqar praised Rohit Sharma’s captaincy as well. The Mumbaikar led India to an Asia Cup title in Virat Kohli’s absence. “Virat makes a massive difference at number three. But without Virat in the tournament, I think Rohit has done a wonderful job. He is very calm. His captaincy is growing every day. I have seen him do the captaincy in IPL as well. He is very calm. He likes to allow people to make their own decisions. He allows people to make their moves. He is a wonderful captain,” the former Pakistan coach said.

India are scheduled to kick-off their World Cup campaign against South Africa on June 5 next year at Southampton’s Rose Bowl. Their next opponents are defending champions Australia, who they will meet at The Oval on June 9.

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