ICC World Cup: Preview

Hello everyone. I am Sarvajith 14 years old in 9th Standard. I welcome you to this blog for a preview of the upcoming world cup. Here, I will talk about the top 10 T20I teams who are contesting the world cup held in Australia

1. India: India is currently the best side in the world, winning almost 20 consecutive series and they also have a well-balanced squad. The Indian top order look set as Kohli and Rahul have both come back to form. Suryakumar Yadav is in the form of his life and he can anchor this mighty team. Hardik Pandya has had a good rest and is fully fit for the World Cup. India also has a world-class finisher in the form of Dinesh Karthik, who can turn up the tide and win games for India. However, the bowling and the fielding have been the main concerns for India as, without Jasprit Bumrah, the death bowling has been terrible in India’s recent series. So, the main focus of India should be to fill in the shies of Bumrah and have a balanced team in this World Cup

Filling in Bumrah’s shoes is a huge problem for India

2. Australia: The mighty Australians are the favourites to win the World Cup as they are playing on home soil and are familiar with the bouncy pitches in Australia. With the likes of David Warner, Aaron Finch, Steve Smith, Mitchell Marsh, Tim David, Cameron Green, Mathew Wade, Maxwell and Stoinis in good form, it is a star-studded batting lineup and it is going to be a headache for selectors for choosing the right batting squad. The bowling also looks formidable with spin wizards Adam Zampa, Hazlewood, Cummins and Starc. So, the Australians are clear favourites to win the cup unless any blunders in the death overs are made.

Matthew Wade is a key finisher for Australia

3. England: England would be high in confidence after their win with Pakistan in their recent 7-match T20I series without the influence of Buttler, Bairstow and Livingstone. Getting super close to the World Cup final the previous year, England will be high in confidence by welcoming Buttler to their team. Alex Hales, Dawid Malan and Buttler can mount huge runs in the powerplay. Livingstone, Stokes and Moeen Ali can apply the finishing touches to post a huge total for their side. England also has a fine bowling lineup with Mark Wood, Adil Rashid and Jordan, who can decimate teams with their bowling. So, even England has a nice chance of winning this world cup.

Alex Hales will be a player to watch out for after returning to the national squad 2 years later

4. New Zealand: New Zealand would be disappointed by not winning the World Cup last year but they will fancy their chances once again as they also have a well-balanced squad. Williamson, Conway and Guptill can chip in a few runs and get a good start for their side and NZ can finish on a high with the likes of James Neesham and Daryll Mitchell. By far, New Zealand has the best bowling with Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Ferguson and Sodhi.

Ish Sodhi would keep the batters guessing with his spin

5. South Africa: With their recent consolation win over India in their recent series against them, South Africa would be high in confidence. Having a superb campaign the previous time, De Kock, Markram and Rossouw give a well-settled top order and SA has one of the mightiest finishers in the form of David Miller, who can smack sixes for fun. Kagiso Rabada, Nortje, and Maharaj have been top-notch and can go through the batting of the opposition team.

Rossouw celebrating his recent hundred against India

6. Pakistan: Pakistan, just like England, were close to getting to the finals of the previous edition but will pose great competition to all the other teams. The problem with Pakistan is they are heavily dependent on Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, their two openers and both are placed in the top three in the ICC rankings. The bowling looks set with Haris Rauf bowling beautifully, Shadab Khan and Nawaz can blow through the opposition’s batting and Shaheen Afridi, who can swing the ball initially.

All eyes would be on Afridi who is coming back from injury.

7. Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka would have to play the qualifiers first but they would be high in confidence after winning the recent Asia Cup. Kusal Mendis and Nissanka can provide a brisk start for the Lankans and Bhanuka Rajapaksha and their captain, Dasun Shanaka can provide big finishes. Sri Lanka does have a world-class bowling line-up with Wanindu Hasaranga, Theekshana, Chameera and Madushanka.

The Sri Lankan captain would again be ambitious to go deep into the world cup

8. West Indies: The champions of 2016 just haven’t continued this legacy in the present and they also have to play the qualifiers. Kyle Mayers has been a positive for the Windies and Nicholas Pooran, Russell, Powell and Jason Holder can provide huge finishes but the latter is coming back with a disappointing CPL. The bowling lineup has been key to the Windies with the likes of Akeal Hosein, Cottrel, Odean Smith and Alzarri Joseph, having to play an instrumental part in their matches. So the Windies have a low chance of even coming to the semis

Kyle Mayers has to chip in for a victory for the Windies

9. Bangladesh: Bangladesh was already knocked out in the group stages of the Asia Cup and also eked out wins in a two-match series with UAE. The main person in the team is Shakib, who has to play an influential role in the welfare of the team. Backed by Mustafizur, they can be a threatening bowling lineup.

Shakib is a key figure on the Bangladeshi side

10. Afghanistan: Afghanistan is an emerging team and they would fancy their chances to go deep into the tournament. It has a well-settled top order and Ibrahim Zadran can anchor the innings. Najibullah can play a huge role as a finisher. Afghanistan has the best spin bowling unit in the world with Nabi, Rashid Khan, and Mujeeb, who can spin a web through the opposition.

Ibrahim would love to continue his form in the Asia Cup