25 Oct

World Cup 2019: What to expect from cricket’s biggest spectacle in the UK

first_imgWorld Cup 2019: What to expect from cricket’s biggest spectacle in the UKEngland are playing hosts for the first time since 1999 and they are also the pre-tournament favourites at the World Cup, starting May 30. The organizers are banking on the 10-team format, flat pitches, a plethora of superstars to make sure the cricketing showpiece remains competitive and viewer-friendlyadvertisement Akshay Ramesh New DelhiMay 30, 2019UPDATED: May 30, 2019 12:41 IST The Cricket World Cup 2019 begins on May 30 (Twitter: @cricketworldcup)HIGHLIGHTSCricket World Cup 2019 begins on May 30 with hosts England taking on South AfricaThe ICC has reverted back to the 10-team format after 14 teams featured in 2011 and 2015500-run totals has become the buzzword ahead of the cricket carnival in the UKFirst things first! Disclaimer: It’s a discouraging fact. The “World Cup”, starting May 30 in the United Kingdom will only be played by 10 teams. The International Cricket Council has brought down the number of teams by 4 from the previous edition held in 2015.While a 10-team World Cup is expected to “keep the standard of playing high”, don’t expect the thrills and frills that surrounds an underdog stunning the big boys of world cricket.Nonetheless, the organizers are banking on the format — a single-legged round robin in which all 10 teams face each other — to add the ingredients that can make the cricket’s biggest tournament a blockbuster.The World Cup has returned to the home of cricket, England for the first time since the 1999 edition. 10 teams will be camped in the UK over the next 46 days for the 14th edition of the quadrennial 50-over tournament.So what’s all the buzz around the 2019 edition of the World Cup?Cricket’s biggest superstar and captain of the India cricket team, Virat Kohli has said the round-robin format makes the upcoming edition one the most challenging tournaments he has ever played.There’s going to be very little room for errors and consistency is going to be key for teams. At the same time, as Sachin Tendulkar puts it, the “format still gives you a chance to come back”.The team that lifts the trophy on June 14 would have played 11 matches and beaten most of the other 9 teams in the tournament. Worthy winners, eh?Who are the favourites?advertisementWell, England and India. That’s at least what the pundits say.England are “obsessed” with being the first team to post a 500-run total in ODI cricket, Virat Kohli had said. Well, they certainly look determined to do what was considered improbable a few years ago.The hosts, led by Eoin Morgan, have a power-packed batting unit with staggering depth. They have been breaking batting records at will. England have the ODI World Cup for the highest total — 481/6 against Australia at home in 2018. Since the start of 2018, England have posted the most number of 300-plus totals — 14.England can certainly dream. The pioneers of cricket might just have their first 50-over World Cup trophy on June 14. While their batting depth is certain to give opposition captains sleepless nights, Morgan’s men have a well-rounded squad that is ranked No. 1 in ODI cricket.On the other hand, Virat Kohli and his men are tipped to bring home their third World Cup title from England. In a first, India are riding on their bowling attack to deliver at the biggest stage of world cricket. With two wrist-spinners who are proven destroyers of batting line-ups and the arguably the best pacer in their line-up, India’s bowling line-up can bust the hype surrounding consistent 400-run totals at the World Cup.At the same time, India’s batting line-up has a plethora of superstars who have their own approaches of getting the job done, which is not necessarily going berserk from Ball 1.What about five-time champions and the most successful World Cup team, Australia? If their performances in 2019 are anything to go by, don’t be surprised if Aaron Finch becomes the fifth title-winning captain from Australia.The comeback men are scoring runs to win back their spots and the rest are doing the same retain theirs. Their pacers have the pace to intimidate the opposition. A world-class finger spinner and a fearless wrist-spinner. Sound a winning recipe?West Indies, Pakistan dark-horses?Pakistan have had a woeful run in 2019. They were blanked by Australia 5-0 in the UAE. They lost to England just before the World Cup 4-0. They were handed a 3-wicket defeat by Afghanistan in a warm-up match last week. But you can’t count them out, can you? Unpredictability is the keyword that can propel them to the top step of the podium.On the other hand, the West Indies are suddenly looking threatening. Administrative issues coupled with lack of key stars had derailed their cricket over the last few years but just ahead of the World Cup, the Carribean side seems to have got it acts right.The big-hitting superstars are back. Led by an inspirational captain, their pace attack is once again starting to push batsmen on the back foot and intimidate them, There’s certainly a flair around this West Indies side that was missing with the previous sides from the Caribbean islands over the last decade or so. Will it be enough? It remains to be seen.Will it be high-scoring games throughout? What happens to the ball-bat balance?advertisementIn the age of T20 cricket, the balance between the bat and the ball isn’t going to be discussed. Wickets in England are expected to be flat, as flat as roads where batsmen can mishit shots a couple of rows into the stands.However, the pitches are expected to get drier as the tournament progresses during the English summer. Spinners, as quite a few pundits are pointing out, are going to play a key role in the second half of the tournament. Well, most of the teams have got at least one wrist-spinner. Haven’t they?Also Read | World Cup 2019 opening ceremony: Virat Kohli, Malala Yousafzai show stealers in London partyAlso Read | Sachin Tendulkar to make his commentary debut in World Cup 2019 openerFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAjay Tiwari Tags :Follow ICC Cricket World Cup 2019Follow India cricket teamFollow England cricket teamlast_img

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