World Cup 2019: Gautam Gambhir picks his favourites for the tournament

He picked India and England as the joint-second favourites.

Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir. (Photograph by Raj k Raj/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

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England and South Africa will lock horns in the World Cup opener only 11 days away from now and a lot of cricket experts have put their prediction hats on. Even Gautam Gambhir has joined the bandwagon now and has picked his favourites for the quadrennial event. According to him, Australia, the defending champions, are the favourites to win the World Cup and believes they should make the final.

Australia, after winning the 2015 edition of the tournament, went through a rough phase for close to three years in the limited-overs format. The period also saw them losing Steve Smith and David Warner who were banned for 12 months by Cricket Australia. But just as the World Cup came close, the Men in Yellow found their groove and are currently on an 8-man winning streak.

They defeated India after being 0-2 down in the five-match series and then whitewashed Pakistan in the UAE before Smith and Warner joined them. The duo’s inclusion has made the team stronger now and they are a force to reckon with in the World Cup.

They should definitely play the final

“Australia are my first favourite. They should definitely play the final and their opposition in the final will be between two of my joint second-favourite teams, England and India,” Gautam Gambhir said while speaking to the Times of India. When asked if there was any special reason to mention England as the joint-second favourites, the cricketer turned politician mentioned the quality the World Cup hosts possess in their team.

“Not because England are playing at home. Of late they are an improved side, having quality cricketers in almost all the positions. They are balanced. With Jofra Archer, England will be a force to reckon with. They are blessed with four genuine all-rounders, of which mentions should be made of Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali,” Gambhir added.

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