VVS Laxman predicts the favourites of next year’s World Cup
The World Cup returns to England after 20 years.
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The World Cup is only five months away and teams are busy churning out the appropriate combinations for the mega tournament in England and Wales. Unlike previous times, the event won’t be having any Associate team as the International Cricket Council (ICC) previously reduced the number of teams to only 10. The qualifiers were played earlier this year in March in Zimbabwe.
Afghanistan and Windies are the two teams who made the cut from the qualifying round. They joined eight other teams that made a direct entry into the World Cup. After a couple of decades, the 50-overs extravaganza is set to return to England. In the meantime, VVS Laxman, the former Indian cricketer, named the teams who would be entering the tournament as the favourites.
Laxman names the most likely winners
“India and England favourites. Being an Indian, I want India to win. I am not going to remove my shirt at Lord’s. That’s a challenge posed by Sourav to Virat. Happy to leave it to them. I don’t have six packs like Sourav had or at least he had the confidence of removing his shirt [at the Lord’s balcony],” Laxman was quoted as saying in India Today.
Both India and England have been in riveting form in ODI cricket over the last few years. India, captained by the enigmatic Virat Kohli, are currently ICC’s number two ranked team. Earlier this year, they beat South Africa 5-1 and then went on to win the Asia Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), beating Bangladesh in a closely-fought final at Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
They also won the five-match series against Windies. Their only series’ defeat this year came against England in July. The Three Lions, led by left-handed batsman Eoin Morgan, are ICC’s number one ranked ODI team. They had a horrendous run in the 2015 edition of the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, and ever since, the Brits have revamped the brand of cricket they play.