Jonty Rhodes concedes India have strong World Cup team
Rhodes though concedes that India has picked up a strong team for the tournament but according to him, there are at least six other teams in the fray.
Published - May 13, 2019 3:16 pm | Updated - May 13, 2019 3:16 pm
With the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 now a thing of the past, all eyes are set on the ICC World Cup starting May 30. Club cricket is now set to be replaced by International matches but as far as the thrill factor is concerned, nothing much is going to change. The World Cup will feature 10 countries and although some experts have backed teams like England and India as favourites, not Jonty Rhodes.
Former South Africa cricketer Jonty Rhodes, whose picture of flying to run out Pakistan’s Inzamam-ul-Haq in his first World Cup in 1992 remains an eternal advertisement of limited-overs cricket, is not eager to pick any of the sides as the favourites to win the tournament.
Rhodes, 49, though concedes that India has picked up a strong team for the tournament but according to him, there are at least six other teams in the fray that can also make a similar claim. Team India will play their first match in the tournament in Southampton on June 5 and their opponents in that game will be South Africa.
It will depend on the balanced XI
“India might have the fab 15 but there are probably six other teams that might call themselves the same. There are some very strong teams in the World Cup and it will depend on the balanced 11 that they chose on the day, depending on the conditions,” Hindustan Times cited reports as quoting Rhodes, who was considered one of the best the game has produced in fielding.
“And I am not even talking about West Indies, who are ranked seventh. They have started to play decent 50-over cricket again and there is no team that can go into any match of the tournament as favourites. So every game is important, you need those points. The change in format has made it really wide open,” he said.
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The upcoming World Cup will be played in a round-robin format, the same which was followed in the 1992 edition. On that occasion, the number of teams was nine with Zimbabwe being the only non-Test-playing nation. This time, however, all 10 teams are Test-playing while two more Test-playing nations – Zimbabwe and Ireland – missed out.
On the topic of a World Cup having no associate members, Rhodes said: “I want to see more associate countries play in the World Cup, but as a spectator you are seeing the best players on the world stage and that is going to mean that every game is important.”
The former cricketer said after giving a fielding session for Namo Bandra Blasters – a side featuring in the second edition of the T20 Mumbai League starting May 14.
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