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Ricky Ponting picks his favourites for World Cup 2019

He also spoke highly about teams like Pakistan, West Indies and South Africa.

Ricky Ponting
Ricky Ponting. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

It’s another 10 days for the ICC World Cup to kick off and all the 10 participating teams are busy giving the final touches to their preparations. The experts are busy predicting the semi-finalists and the probable champions even though it is one of the most difficult tasks under the sun. Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting, too, has given his verdict on the upcoming World Cup, picking his favourites.

The 44-year-old Ponting, who is the only other captain to win two consecutive World Cups apart from Clive Lloyd, was picked in February as the assistant coach of the Australian team. The former cricketer, however, hasn’t picked his own country as the probable champions in the upcoming tournament. Instead, he has backed hosts England who just thrashed Pakistan 4-0 in an ODI series at home.

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England ranked No.1 in ODIs, came up with a monstrous batting display in the series against Pakistan, hitting 350 runs on an average in every game. The fact that England are also playing this World Cup at home makes them even more dangerous. The Three Lions have never won the ICC title in 50-overs cricket and finished as finalists thrice in three separate decades.

England will be challenged by India and Australia

“Initially, it would be England for two reasons. England have started playing well in limited overs and the tournament will be played on home. Naturally, they will have some home advantage. But they will be challenged by India and Australia,” Ponting was quoted as saying by Times of India.

The former Australia skipper who was also one of their most prolific batsmen, felt the edition this year will be an open contest since it will be played in a round-robin format with each team playing the other before the top four point-earners making the semi-finals.

He also spoke highly about teams like Pakistan, West Indies and South Africa, saying although England are the clear favourites, there are other strong teams who can cause upsets as well.

England will take on South Africa in the first match of the tournament at the Oval on May 30.

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