If we think about the team composition, form, fitness and experience of players and Indian condition host India and reigning Champions England appear to us hot favorites for winning the championship.
Among the other teams two of the following four: Pakistan, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. We do not think Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan have the quality and competence for reaching semifinal. The rookie Netherlands may create one or two surprises. We must bear in mind that each team will need to play nine matches in different cities of India over a short time in different condition. The team having depth and diversity and ability for performing consistently well will succeed. We will discuss in depth the teams in some installments.
Indian Squad: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya (Vice Captain) , Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan ,SuryaKumar Yadav , Ravindra Jadeja , Shardul Thakur , Jasprit Bumrah , Mohammad Sami, Mohammad Siraj and Axar Patel
England Squad: Jos Buttler (Captain), Moeen Ali, Gus Atkinson, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran, Liam Livingston, David Malan, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes , Reece Topley , David Willey, Mark Wood and Chris Woakes
We know that England is the reigning champion. They peeped New Zealand to the post at Lords in 2019 winning in the super over. England also lost in the final against Australia in 1987 when World Cup was played in India for the first time. England also finished second twice – in the second Prudential World Cup to West Indies in 1979 and to Pakistan at MCG in 1992. India on the other hand surprised West Indies in 1983 winning for the first time under the leadership of Kapil Dev. They won for the second time in 2011 under the leadership of Mahendra Singh Dhoni beating Sri Lanka.
Why Makes England Favorite?
Many English players regularly play in IPL and PSL and as such have extensive experience of playing on sub continental conditions and wickets. Just note that England lost to Bangladesh in 2011 and 2015. After that England team went through positive changes and revolutionized. Kiwi Coach Brendon McCullum infused Bazball style combing T20 flamboyance and ODI steadiness to a new style. Scores of 330-340 are now being chased regularly. Players have been picked to suit the strategy and given license to play at freedom. Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow perfectly suits that plan as the fearless openers. David Malan at three can also tear apart any attack on his day. He has many successes on Indian wickets for his franchise in IPL. England has many options at number four. In usual circumstances Joe Root with his wealth of talent will play. Otherwise depending on circumstances Moeen Ali may be promoted as a blaster. Jos Buttler the skipper, Ben Stokes the versatile player gives the middle order depth and diversity. Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran can turn the game upside down any time. Even Adil Rashid, David Willey and Chris Woakes are no mug with the bat. This English team can regularly score 300 plus runs on Indian wickets if they can adjust quick with hot humid conditions.
As far as bowling is concerned Mark Wood, Chris Woakes Sam Curran have required pace and penetration with the new ball, David Willey and Ben Stokes are also useful. The two experienced spinners Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid will exploit turning wickets. England is ready for World Cup 2023.
India Will Be Bookies Top Favorite?
Host India hungry for success at international level is bookies hot favorite. They have recently shown at Asia Cup their quality and strength. They have the horses for the courses and have the potential to win their third world Cup trophy. But they are also vulnerable. India playing a depleted team lost to Bangladesh in Asia cup. They also lost the 3rd ODI match to formidable Australia at Rajkot on 27 September. In Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill India possesses the best opening partners of the world cricket at this moment. Rohit needs no introduction to cricket admirers and Shubman Gill is currently walking on a purple patch as a highly talented batsman of exception talent. Add to that Virat Kohli one of the best batsmen ever seen in cricket. He is also in sublime form. The return of KL Rahul and Sreyas Iyer from Injury at the right time have given tremendous boost to Indian batting. Hardik Pandya and Suryakumar Yadav are two X-factors to Indian batting at this moment. Few minutes of these two or even one at the wicket may change the complexion of any match. Ravindra Jadeja and even Shardul Thakur can also make useful contributions at tails if required. As far as bowling is concerned Jasprit Bumrah, Mohamad Siraj and Mohammad Sami can rock and torment top order of opponents. Hardik Pandya is a steady wicket taking bowler. Kuldeep Yadav the left arm wrist spinner as a rare specie is India’s X-factor in bowling. It will require exceptional bowling of Shaheen Afridi, Harris Rauf, Mitchel Starc, Pat Cummins, Ngidi and Rabada to rock Indian batting.
In business as usual, I foresee an England – India final and India winning it. But nothing can be guaranteed in cricket. Circumstances can alter cases.
BDST: 1022 HRS, SEP 28, 2023