Who is on Course to Lift the Cricket World Cup?

The whole nation will be hoping India can win their third ICC World Cup
The whole nation will be hoping India can win their third ICC World Cup

It is now only two months before the Cricket World Cup comes to India, the first time the nation has hosted the tournament on its own. England will be looking at becoming only the third country (along with the West Indies and Australia) to win back-to-back World Cups. But there are plenty of other nations with a realistic chance of lifting the trophy. As the cricket world cup betting hots up as the time for the tournament approaches, let’s look at those countries who are in the frame to be victorious.

India: It is 40 years since India won the ICC World Cup for the first time, a feat they repeated of course in 2011, when they hosted the tournament along with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. If Rohit Sharma were to guide his side to victory, then India will be the second most successful team out on their own with three. The huge advantage Sharma will have will be the fact his team will be on home soil. Perhaps in India, that counts more than anywhere else, not only because of the pitches, but also because of the incredible support his men will have roaring them on from the packed grandstands.

While many of the competing nations are still focussing on red ball cricket, India are competing against the West Indies in a three day series that will go a long way to showing where both teams are at. It will certainly be a series where players cement their place in the squad or team or do the opposite. There is still debate as to Sharma’s best eleven.

Perhaps the way the test team has adapted of late also points to a new philosophy with the limited-overs team.

England: All the talk in England at the moment is their unfortunate and undeserved defeat (at least in terms of not being able to win the urn outright) in the Ashes (India of course tasted defeat at the hands of the Australians earlier this year), but it won’t be long before thoughts turn to retaining the World Cup. Ben Stokes’ team are packed with game changers and game winners, both with the bat and the ball. Of all the teams at the tournament, they will find the transition from red ball to white ball cricket the most seamless, down to the super aggressive way they play test cricket. That mentality could well pay dividends, and after the bitter disappointment of the summer, going to India and winning the World Cup will be the only and best way to make amends.

Mumbai’s Wankhede stadium hosts five matches including a semi-final
Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium hosts five matches including a semi-final

Fittingly, the tournament proper starts off with England playing New Zealand on Thursday the 5th of October at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad. This will be a repeat of last tournament’s final, which must go down as one of the most dramatic and incredible games of cricket ever played.

Australia: It’s difficult to write off Australia when it comes to cricket. They are the tournament’s most successful team for a reason. They beat India in an ODI series earlier this year, albeit on home soil. The issue the Australians could come up against though is the opposite to what we discussed with England earlier. Though they retained the Ashes, they played in an ultra defensive manner. It is far from impossible to switch from that mindset to one which is successful in white ball cricket, but the team did not give the impression that they were full of confidence, or fully understood the tactics and strategy they were being sent out with.

One day cricket is different, and many of the players will be different, but it is still a feeling that pervades Cricket Australia, and one can’t help but think it is something that could well hold them back.

The Best of the Rest

If the winners don’t come from those three teams, then it is likely it will be New Zealand, last time’s runner’s up; Pakistan, who will like the conditions, but won’t find it easy constantly being the away team; the West indies or South Africa, but one can’t help but feel all of the last three will not quite have enough to sustain momentum throughout the whole of the tournament.

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