8. Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka cricket is probably going through its darkest phase ever. Once, Sri Lanka was the dark horse of every ICC event, you don’t expect them to reach the knockout stages but they eventually do. Recently, Sri Lanka won the T20 series vs India which should give immense confidence to the new group under the captaincy of a young and calm player, Dasun Shanaka.
7. South Africa
South Africa was a team that was invincible at home and used to beat the strongest teams at home easily. The journey for the Proteas has been no less painful than a heartbreak, which they are used to in the knockout stages of ICC tournaments. Hoping a greater number of young batsmen and all-rounders step up to the task and give their all to play well for their country.
6. West Indies
The boys from the Caribbean instilled fear in the eyes of the opposition through their game as well as their physical appearance.. The West Indies team is in full strength and will be eager to defend their title. If there are healthy relations between the board and the players, expect the Caribbean boys to be a dominant force in ODI cricket soon.
Probably the best fast bowling-producing country in the world, Pakistan was a force to reckon with in the early nineties. If the players and board manage to keep themselves out of controversy and focus on playing good cricket, we might get to see the resurgence of Pakistan cricket very soon.
Australia is the team which most of us have seen dominating oppositions and winning international matches as comfortably as playing against a club. With exciting youngsters like Josh Philippe, Wes Agar, Marcus Harris and Jhye Richardson, Australian cricket looks in safe hands with a nudge from the board policies in the right direction.
3. New Zealand
A country with a population of just below 50 Lakh, yet is currently the best team in the world as per rankings, New Zealand cricket is a success story in itself. The Kiwis are blessed with quality fast bowlers like Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson and great batsmen like Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor and Tom Latham.
With captain Eoin Morgan changing the culture completely and letting his boys attack from ball one with bat and ball in all conditions against any opposition is an absolute treat to watch. In the strongest England XI, four players out of the top six have a strike rate of over 100 and an average of over 40. This change in approach to limited-overs has been their key to success.
India has always been blessed with the best batsmen of their respective generations – Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar and the current Indian captain Virat Kohli. Currently, India is a team that looks the strongest on paper, bashes teams during bilateral series and league stages of ICC tournaments but somehow stumbles under pressure during knockout stages.