The 2019 Cricket World Cup gets underway on Thursday 30th May, with host nation England facing South Africa in the tournament opener.
The Cricket World Cup is contested in the one-day cricket format. These matches consist of 50 overs per side, with each side taking turns to bat following a coin toss. The tournament is usually held every four years.
There are 10 international sides that compete in the group stage of the tournament before the best four teams make it through to the semi-final and final stages. We look at the 10 teams involved and their chances of winning the tournament this year.
England (7/4 fav)
Captain: Eoin Morgan
Head Coach: Trevor Bayliss
Top runscorer: Joe Root
Top wicket-taker: Adil Rashid
Openers: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow
Middle-order: Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, James Vince
All-rounders: Chris Woakes, Ben Stokes, Liam Dawson, Moeen Ali
Wicketkeepers: Jos Butler, Jonny Bairstow
Spinners: Liam Dawson, Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid
Pace bowlers: Mark Wood, Liam Plunkett, Tom Curran, Jofra Archer
Despite being involved in every Cricket World Cup tournament since it’s creation in 1975, they’ve never been able to win the trophy. This year, they’re the early tournament favourites.
England enter the tournament in great form, coming off the back of a convincing 4-0 win in their one-day series with Pakistan.
England consistently scored over 300 runs in that series, with the side only failing to top 350 runs once. Their series batting average was 356.
They also drew a series with the West Indies in their Caribbean tour early this year.
Jos Buttler is proving to be one of the best wicket-keepers in the game. He’s also handy with the bat, and has put on incredible displays recently, especially in the second ODI against Pakistan, smashing 110 from 55 including six fours and nine sixes.
Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy are becoming a formidable opening partnership too. They consistently score and put England in a commanding position. Roy scored two centuries in the ODI series against Pakistan, with Bairstow grabbing one. Bairstow also has 445 IPL runs to his name in the 2019 league.
England’s pace attack is in a better place now than it once was, with Mark Wood and Liam Plunkett the longest serving of the four pace bowlers. The inclusion of Tom Curran and Jofra Archer has revitalised a weak pace attack.
Ben Stokes lack of form could also be of concern. Didn’t set the IPL alight as was expected, lost his touch with his bowling and trying too hard to put up big numbers with the bat which is allowing more and more mistakes to creep in.
England should be almost guaranteed of a place in the semis, as they’re one of the top four sides in the tournament. But after that, it’s all a game of chance and how they play on the day. Favourites for a reason, but that never guarantees success. Being favourites in a tournament they’re hosting could also be a concern, as heightened expectations could get to the squad.
Captain: Virat Kohli
Head Coach: Ravi Shastri
Top runscorer: Rohit Sharma
Top wicket-taker: Kuldeep Yadav
Openers: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan
Middle-order: Virat Kohli, K.L. Rahul, Kedar Jadhav
All-rounders: Vijay Shankar, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja
Wicketkeepers: MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik
Spinners: Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav
Pace bowlers: Vijay Shankar, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami
Regularly among the front-runners for the tournament victory prior to it getting underway. They’re expected to be there or there about again, with only England being favoured.
They’re in pretty good form coming into the tournament, but this doesn’t guarantee them any form of success. India are one of those sides that lack consistency on the big stage, and can let the occasion get the better of them.
Jasprit Bumrah has become the go to bowler for India, and is changing the way other countries look at bowling techniques too. The slinger can do the damage with a new ball, during the middle over’s or right at the death, with his versatility instilling fear into the batting side.
They’ve got a world class top three in the batting order too, that are likely to fire them into a great position in every game. The three complement each other really well, with Sharma taking time to get his eye in before becoming a destroyer with the bat and Dhawan going after the opposition from the first ball.
Middle order either lacks experience or consistency. Kedar Jedhav usually takes the six slot but really could do with game time under his belt. MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya can be world beaters on their day, but can also struggle to ignite a middle order charge which could give others a way into the game.
Their first four games are against four top quality opponents in the shape of South Africa, Australia, New Zealand then Pakistan. If they come out of those four games with at least a couple of defeats to their name, then momentum could move to the opposition. Win all four and they’ll be in with a great shot of winning all matches with huge volumes of confidence. They’re second-favourites for a reason, and will fight England to the death for the trophy.
Captain: Aaron Finch
Head Coach: Justin Langer
Top runscorer: Aaron Finch
Top wicket-taker: Pat Cummins
Openers: Aaron Finch, David Warner
Middle-order: Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Steve Smith
All-rounders: Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis
Wicketkeepers: Alex Carey
Spinners: Glenn Maxwell, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Lyon, Adam Zampa
Pace bowlers: Pat Cummins, Marcus Stoinis, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Kane Richardson, Mitchell Starc
They’re the reigning champions coming into this tournament, and they’ve re-found form prior to the tournament which has enhanced their chances of retaining the crown.
They had previously been on a run of two ODI wins from 13 attempts, but that has been followed up by a superb eight wins in a row. They’ve also brought back in two of their huge stars after their respective bans in Steve Smith and David Warner.
Australia boast a ferocious pace attack. Cummings, Stoinis, Richardson, Coulter-Nile and Starc all have their own style of attack, though it’s all pacey, they use it in different ways. Starc’s bowling was one of the main catalysts that lead them to the Cricket World Cup win in 2015 ad he was the joint highest wicket-taker.
Mitchell Starc used to come with his strike partner Josh Hazlewood, though he’s fallen out of favour which has paved the way for Coulter-Nile to take his place. The latter can also pick up quick fire runs which adds to the Australian batting game.
Zampa has been prolific in Australia’s spin attack this year. He’s picked up the most ODI wickets and stands as their lead spinner.
Their squad doesn’t contain a back-up wicket keeper, so could leave them thin on options. Aaron Finch could fill in behind the sticks if needed. Back-up wicket keepers have been left on the standby list, which can’t be called into the XI on immediate notice.
Much of their fortune will depend on form and fitness.
They’re not the team they once were, but they’ve put together a decent run of form, their best since the previous World Cup, and that could go a long way in this tournament. The over-reliance on their bowling could be a downfall, but they’re still expected to compete. They’re third-favourites because of their recent upturn in form, but they’ll need a good start or risk a poor tournament.
South Africa (8/1)
Captain: Faf du Plessis
Head Coach: Ottis Gibson
Top runscorer: Quinton de Kock
Top wicket-taker: Kagiso Rabada
Openers: Hashim Amla,Quinton de Kock, Rassie van der Dussen
Middle-order: Faf du Plessis, Aiden Markram, David Miller
All-rounders: JP Duminy, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Chris Morris
Wicketkeepers: Quinton de Kock
Spinners: Imran Tahir, Tabraiz Shamsi
Pace bowlers: Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi
South Africa come into the tournament with a relatively inexperienced side, though they have been somewhat impressive. It’s expected that eight of their 15 will be making their tournament debuts.
A youthful and exuberant side could play into their hands as sides of old have carried baggage of rivalries into the tournaments, where as the young players will be out there to impress for themselves on the biggest stage for their country.
Their bowling attack is quickly picking up a reputation as one of the most exciting and best bowling attacks in one-day cricket. Dale Steyn holds down the fort in terms of experience, but they’ve got youth coming through such as Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Dwayne Pretorius and Chris Morris that are bolstering their options.
Rabada was in scintillating form in the IPL claiming 25 wickets from 12 matches before a back injury put him out. He’s likely to lead the Proteas attack, though can be handy after the introduction of a new ball or being saved for crucial over’s at the end of the game.
Hashim Amla and Aiden Markram have been far from their best in the build up to this tournament. They’re both lucky to be in the squad, with Reeza Hendricks being left out despite being a more in-form option.
There’s a lack of batting attack that South Africa can rely on to dig them out of bowling holes. Only Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock have batting prowess, which could lead to an overreliance of their young bowlers to get results.
It could be one World Cup too early for the South African youth to lead their side all the way to glory. They’re expected to make it deep into the tournament and could throw their name in the hat for a semi final spot if all goes to plan. They’re fourth-favourites for a tournament win.
New Zealand (10/1)
Captain: Kane Williamson
Head Coach: Gary Stead
Top runscorer: Ross Taylor
Top wicket-taker: Trent Boult
Openers: Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Colin Munro
Middle-order: Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor
All-rounders: Colin de Grandhomme, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner
Wicketkeepers: Tom Latham, Tom Blundell
Spinners: Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi
Pace bowlers: Colin de Grandhomme, James Neesham, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry
They’ve got great pedigree in Cricket World Cups, and they’re level with Australia in the number of semi-finals they’ve reached in the competition with seven appearances.
They narrowly lost out to Australia in the 2015 tournament, but they get better with each passing tournament so they’re again expected to be in with a shout of reaching the last four at least.
With Brendon McCullum stepping aside, Kane Williamson has taken the reins of the captaincy and much of the team is still the same from the squad that competed in 2015.
Williamson himself is a strength in terms of his captaincy style and his batting. He’s not changed too much from when McCullum was in charge, but built off the solid foundations his predecessor left. Williamson is one of the best batsmen in the world and has been competing at a consistent level for many years. He’s down in New Zealand’s middle-order but acts as the glue in the side.
Ross Taylor has also picked up his game in recent years, with his ODI batting averages sitting at 0.50 in 2017, 91.29 in 2018 and 74.13 in 2019. He’s picked up five centuries and 15 half-centuries in the last three years, and would be looking to bow out on a high ahead of potentially his last World Cup.
Colin Munro comes into the World cup on relatively poor form. He’s struggled to hit high numbers and could be dropped to the reserve list. There’s not an awful lot of squad depth or different options. Munro would likely need to step back in to the opening role if one of Henry Nicholls or Martin Guptill gets an injury.
Colin de Grandhomme has also struggled with the bat of late too. He’s been solid with his bowling, which is likely why he was preferred over Doug Bracewell, but his form in the middle order is a worry.
They lost momentum at a crucial point coming into the World Cup but have found form over different formats, so they know what they have to do if they want to remain competitive. If they can all come together and find their peak form, they’ll likely challenge again. On their day, they could go all the way, but if they’re off colour, they’ll fade away early on. Matches against Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan give them the perfect start and opportunity to build form.
Captain: Sarfaraz Ahmed
Head Coach: Mickey Arthur
Top runscorer: Fakhar Zaman
Top wicket-taker: Hasan Ali
Openers: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq
Middle-order: Babar Azam, Asif Ali, Haris Sohail
All-rounders: Mohammad Hafeez, Shadab Khan, Shoaib Malik
Wicketkeepers: Sarfaraz Ahmed
Spinners: Mohammad Hafeez, Shadab Khan, Shoaib Malik, Imad Wasim
Pace bowlers: Hasan Ali, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hasnain, Shaheen Afridi, Wahab Riaz
Pakistan are one of the outsiders for the tournament, however on their day they could upset some of the favourites. But they need to work on their consistency. They were a shadow of themselves in the 2015 Cricket World Cup, but found their best form in 2017 when they beat off the favourites to win the Champions Trophy.
They’ve brought three all-rounders with different skillsets to this World Cup, and it’s a move which has strengthened their position massively. Imad Wasim works wonders with the bat in the middle order, but needs to become more consistent with the ball in hand and pick up wickets more regularly.
Shadab Khan is the polar opposite, picking up regular wickets with his wicked spin, but can’t find any form of consistency with the bat.
Faheem Ashraf is another asset for the Pakistan side. He’s a pace bowler that’s quite handy with the bat too, and can bail his side out of trouble if on form.
One of the main weaknesses is that their batting attack doesn’t seem to be filled with players that would suit the wicket in England. Imam-ul-Haq, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez are known for their batting, and not their ‘big-hitting’, which the ground suits more in England. They could struggle to find the runs and get the scores on the board.
They’ve gone with a relatively inexperienced side and passed up on the opportunity to take Asif Ali on the tour with them. They lack players that can pick up runs quickly when needed.
They’ve got a strong change of making the semis if they can pull all the strings together and play to a high calibre. Their unpredictability in terms of their form means that they could also turn up and fail to make it out of the group stage. It’s a team filled with talent that has underperformed of late, but they’ll need to find more wickets and pick up runs quicker if they’re to threaten the favourites for the trophy.
West Indies (16/1)
Captain: Jason Holder
Head Coach: Floyd Reifer
Top runscorer: Shai Hope
Top wicket-taker: Jason Holder
Openers: Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis
Middle-order: Shai Hope, Nic Pooran, Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer
All-rounders: Jason Holder, Carlos Brathwaite, Andre Russell
Wicketkeepers: Nicholas Pooran
Spinners: Fabian Allen, Ashley Nurse
Pace bowlers: Jason Holder, Carlos Brathwaite, Andre Russell, Sheldon Cottrell, Shannon Gabriel, Kemar Roach, Oshane Thomas
The West Indies have gone through a rough patch in recent years, but it’s widely thought that they’re over that now and they’re going to attempt to make up for the years lost to poor form.
They’re filled with superstars, and they’ve got two of the best ODI crickets on their squad. If Chris Gayle and Andre Russell are on fire, then there’s nothing that can be done by the opposition to stop them.
Their only issue is consistency. All of the talent is there in the squad, but it’s far too hit and miss to come up with a challenge. If they can find their form and consistency in this tournament, they could go all the way.
Shai Hope is another that will help the Windies put up a good score. He’s able to churn runs at will.
Their batsmen struggle facing spinners, which could be an issue in this tournament. If other teams come to them with their A-game spinning, then it’s likely the Windies will struggle.
Fabian Allen is listen as an all-rounder, but he’s a much better and more potent threat with the bat than he is will the ball in hand. He’s not known for his wicket taking ability, and they could have done with another bowler in the squad to back up their batting talent.
If they can get it all together, then of course they’re expected to be a threat and challenge for the title. But with their poor form not too long ago, it’s no guarantee that they’re fully over that period. Form will heavily rely on the stars, and if Chris Gayle isn’t smashing the ball all over the place, runs may be harder to come by. Could go all the way, could fall at the first hurdle.
Sri Lanka (80/1)
Captain: Dimuth Karunaratne
Head Coach: Chandika Hathurusingha
Top runscorer: Angelo Mathews
Top wicket-taker: Thisara Perera
Openers: Avishka Fernando, Dimuth Karunaratne
Middle-order: Lahiru Thirimanne
All-rounders: Dhananjaya de Silva, Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Isuru Udana, Jeevan Mendis, Milinda Siriwardana
Wicketkeepers: Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera
Spinners: Dhananjaya de Silva, Jeevan Mendis, Milinda Siriwardana, Jeffrey Vandersay
Pace bowlers: Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Isuru Udana, Lasith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep
They’re one of the sides at the World Cup that are in a state of disrepair. Since losing two of their greatest ever batsmen in the form of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, they’ve failed to find anyone that can come up with the consistency required with a bat in their hands.
They lost to South Africa heavily in the quarter-finals of the 2015 tournament, and since then, have continued a gradual decline, resulting in a new low in 2017 when they lost a five-match ODI series 3-2 to Zimbabwe on their own patch.
They still have Lasith Malinga in their ranks, and despite his career seemingly coming to an end, he’s back revitalised and as good as ever, and remains their best bet when it comes to looking for wickets. His technique still leaves him as one of the most awkward and unpredictable bowlers in the game.
Angelo Mathews is another gem in the Sri Lankan ranks. He’s their star man with the bat, and after being out of the team for a while due to a dispute with the Sri Lankan cricket board, he’s come back on top form and has showed no signs of slowing down, hitting 227 runs in four innings.
The Sri Lankans have a habit of not being able to just lose one wicket at a time, but they crumble together and lose wickets by the truck load. They usually fall like a pack of cards, and the fact they’ve stuck with underperforming and out of form batsmen doesn’t give the side much chance.
Their opening partnership lacks the form and experience to make teams fear them. Captain Dimuth Karunaratne will play alongside either Avishka Fernando or Lahiru Thirimanne, with the two either relatively inexperienced (Avishka at 21 years old) or out of form (Thirimanne hasn’t played an international game for two years).
They’re in a sorry state, and really don’t look like being able to put together any challenge to the big guns that will be firing. They could finish bottom of the pile on current form, and it isn’t looking like this World Cup is the time to turn it around either.
Captain: Mashrafe Mortaza
Head Coach: Steve Rhodes
Top runscorer: Mushfiqur Rahmin
Top wicket-taker: Mushfiqur Rahmin
Openers: Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Liton Das
Middle-order: Mahmudullah, Sabbir Rahman
All-rounders: Shakid-al-Hasan, Mehedi Hasan Miraz, Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mosaddek Hossain
Wicketkeepers: Liton Das, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mohammad Mithun
Spinners: Shakib Al Hasan, Mehedi Hasan Miraz, Mosaddek Hossain
Pace bowlers: Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mashrafe Mortaza, Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Abu Jayed
Commonly referred to as a side that have been overawed by the big occasion, the Bangladesh side have started to prove people wrong. They reached the quarter-final in the 2015 World Cup, before reaching the semis of the 2017 Champions Cup. In the 2018 Asia Cup, they came within one ball of winning the trophy, only to have India come out on top.
They may struggle with the new format of the tournament, and might not even make it out of the first round. They have a few good options that give them hope, and are one of those sides that shouldn’t be underestimated because they can genuinely beat anyone on any given day.
Tamim Iqbal is the biggest threat that Bangladesh posses. He has the capabilities to get them off to a lightning fast start and can put up big numbers.
Middle-order batsman Mushfiqur Rahim is someone who has improved as the years have gone by, and with his vast knowledge and experience in the game, can help their side drastically. Can play a crucial scoring role late on if needed.
Liton Das has maintained his place in the World Cup XV despite being in some of the worst form of his career. He’s averaging less than 20 over the last 27 matches he’s played in, and really struggled in their recent ODI series against New Zealand, failing to reach double figures.
Team lacks that stand out player that can strike fear into the opposition and win them the game out of nowhere. Their squad is quite predictable, and could be easily picked off.
They’ve got a team full of players who have got decent performances in them, but they rarely find them together and therefore come up short more often than not. It’s likely that they’ll come up short again here. They’ll need to win a bare minimum of five games if they stand any chance of making it through and that looks like it may just be out of their grasps. Could spring a shock though if they all come together.
Captain: Gulbadin Naib
Head Coach: Phil Simmons
Top ODI runscorer: Mohammad Shahzad
Top ODI wicket-taker: Rashid Khan
Openers: Hazratullah Zazai, Mohammad Shahzad, Noor Ali Zahran
Middle-order: Asghar Afghan, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Rahmat Shah
All-rounders: Gulbadin Naib, Aftab Alam, Mohammad Nabi, Samiullah Shinwari
Wicketkeepers: Mohammad Shahzad
Spinners: Mohammad Nabi, Samiullah Shinwari, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Pace bowlers: Gulbadin Naib, Aftab Alam, Dawlat Zadran, Hamid Hassan
One to look out for, they could cause an upset on their day although this is only their first appearance at the ODI Cricket World Cup.
They have an abundance of bowling talent, and their bowlers have been consistently performing across the domestic T20 leagues. Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi all ooze quality.
Rashid has a huge lot of variation in his bowling which can stun batsmen, but he’s particularly good with his quick leg spins. Nabi is one of the most consistent bowlers in the game, and can drop the ball on a coin when required. His consistency gives batters nothing and encourages them to take risks, which forces errors. Mujeeb has a bag full of tricks up his sleeve and can switch it up whenever he wants.
The spinners are a constant threat during the powerplay, but can also take regular wickets during the main innings.
One flaw could be that they’ve handed the captaincy to someone who has no prior experience of captaining the side whatsoever, and he could be overawed by the magnitude of the tournament.
Changing the captain this close to the tournament is a surprise move, but what’s even more surprising is that they have the former captain still among the roster and will be competing in the tournament too, which could cause unnecessary tensions. Not all of the team agree with the decision.
They’re expected to cause at least one shock in the tournament, but they’re not expected to be highly competitive throughout the tournament. They’ve got a great bowling attack but there’s not much in the way of batting, just a couple of big hitters that they’ll rely upon. Not expected to make it past the group stage.
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