• Online Now:
  • 0
  • Players
  • 0
  • Tournaments

Cricket World Cup 2019: Pressure the biggest problem for England

The 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup will feature 10 countries and takes place between May 30 and July 14.

England are the host nation and are the favourites in the Cricket World Cup odds but will face stern competition from the likes of India and Australia.

Here we assess the chances of each of the 10 teams taking part.

England

It is incredible to think of three-time runners-up England's transformation since crashing out of the 2015 World Cup with defeat to minnows Bangladesh.

With a defensive mindset in the distant past, Eoin Morgan's side have revolutionised the 50-over game with a brand of attacking cricket that has seen them break records and reach the top of the rankings.

The only major concern in their quest for a maiden 50-over World Cup is whether they can handle the pressure on home soil.

India

On paper, India are England's closest challengers. Led by the influential Virat Kohli, they always seem to have a squad capable of beating anyone in limited-overs cricket.

India furthered their development in English conditions during a one-day international series in the summer of 2018. Although they came out the wrong side of a 2-1 scoreline, they will be better for the experience and are in good condition to compete for a third World Cup.

Australia

Long gone are the days when Australia dominated international cricket, with their current ODI team struggling to cope without the banned Steve Smith and David Warner.

Defending champions they may be, but only a select few players remain from the side which beat New Zealand in the 2015 final to win their fifth title.

Their recent ODI record shows they are a team struggling to compete with the best sides, having lost 4-1 to India and 9-1 over two series with England.

South Africa

The term 'chokers' is often used to describe South Africa at World Cups. That stemmed from the famous 1999 semi-final against Australia when, with one run needed with one wicket remaining, a horrifying run out saw them crash out after finishing lower than their opponents in the Super Sixes table.

It seems they have never recovered and, despite having the likes of AB de Villiers and Dale Steyn in their ranks, a penultimate-ball last-four defeat to New Zealand four years ago denied them another maiden final appearance.

New Zealand

The Black Caps finally came of age in 2015, reaching their maiden final playing a care-free brand of cricket under Brendon McCullum, who has since retired.

Now under the stewardship of the impressive Kane Williamson, New Zealand are among the dark horses. Over the last few years the Kiwis have always competed with the likes of England and India, but ended up losing series by the odd game.

Their seamers will be crucial in English conditions.

Pakistan

Pakistan are always an intriguing side. Often entering a tournament in slight disarray, they have a habit of upsetting the odds and proving a point.

They did that in the 2017 Champions Trophy in England, stunning the hosts in the semis and then arch rivals India in the final to win the title.

It seems form does not matter when it comes to the 1992 winners, who beat England in that final, meaning their long odds could be slightly misleading.

West Indies

Two-time World Cup winners West Indies certainly have the talent to win global tournaments. They have shown that by winning the 2012 and 2016 World T20s, while also producing a stunning comeback to beat England and claim the Champions Trophy at The Oval in 2004.

But recently their stock has fallen in the 50-over game and, along with Afghanistan, they were made to qualify for next year's event.

Their problems are highlighted by the fact they have not won an ODI series since 2014.

Sri Lanka

Similar to Australia, Sri Lanka have not found replacements for retired stars such as Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene in recent years. They have struggled to field settled sides and their results have suffered in ODIs.

They may have stunned the world in 1996, when they beat Australia by seven wickets in the final in Lahore, but it is unlikely they will get close to doing that at the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

Bangladesh

Bangladesh are an improving nation after stunning England at the 2015 World Cup. A quarter-final appearance in Australia instilled confidence into the Tigers and they have since defeated Pakistan, India and South Africa in ODI series.

Their recent results have not gone to plan, yet they are capable of producing an upset on their day. Going all the way in 2019 may be a step too far, though.

Afghanistan

Afghanistan won the qualifiers in Zimbabwe to secure a second appearance at the 50-over tournament. They broke new ground four years ago, beating Scotland by one wicket in a thriller in Dunedin on their debut.

The Afghans proved they can be a test for any side in the world in the 2018 Asia Cup, beating Sri Lanka and Bangladesh before tying with India.

However, they are not yet at a level where they can compete with the best nations on a regular basis.

Acca Bonus up to 100% - Place a treble or higher across any sport and if it wins, we'll boost your winnings in cash. Remember to check that all your selections are higher than 1.50 (1/2). T&Cs apply.

Andrew McDermott
@a_mcdermott in Cricket