World Cup 2019: To lift the trophy, any team needs to beat India, feels Clive Lloyd
The former skipper feels that the bowlers have been fierce so far and are the lifeline for the team.
Updated - Nov 20, 2019 10:00 pm
His country might have faced yet another disappointing end at the cricket World Cup but two-time title-winning captain Clive Lloyd has not stopped following the ongoing carnival for the world’s biggest trophy. The 74-year-old believes both India and Australia are the top contenders to win the title at Lord’s on July 14. He also called Virat Kohli’s unit the one to beat in the ongoing showpiece event. Australia are at the top of the points table with 14 points from eight games while India have 11 from six.
India are the only team in the fray yet who have not lost a game although the World Cup completed a month on Sunday. On Thursday, the Men in Blue hammered Lloyd’s West Indies by 125 runs to pack them off home and will be locking horns with England at Edgbaston on Sunday. India needs one more point to make the semi-finals and have three matches left.
While there are questions still over India’s middle-order and particularly the No.4 spot, their bowlers have made up for all the other shortfalls so far. Spearheads Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah are in tremendous forms and even the absence of Bhuvneshwar Kumar because of injury haven’t hurt them much till now. The two spinners in Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav have also been remarkable even though the former has claimed more wickets than the latter.
‘Bumrah a fantastic discovery’
“Jasprit Bumrah is a fantastic discovery but behind him, guys like Mohammed Shami and the wrist spinners have been really impressive. What I like about their attack, as opposed to many in this tournament, is that they bowl to take wickets,” Lloyd wrote in his column for the ICC.
“I have been impressed by India – I think the winner of the whole thing is going to be one of them or Australia. Any team that wants to lift the trophy will have to beat India, they are unbeaten so far and look a very well-balanced side.”
Lloyd led the West Indies to two back-to-back World Cup wins in 1975 and 1979 – both in England – and came close to winning the third when they lost in the final of the 1983 edition to Kapil Dev’s India by 43 runs. The West Indies have made only one semi-final (1996) in the next eight editions played after the Lloyd era.
Only Australia’s Ricky Ponting has matched Lloyd by winning two consecutive World Cups in 2003 and 2007.