India will start the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 as favourites, according to former opener, Aakash Chopra.
Chopra was a special guest as the ICC Cricket World Cup Trophy Tour, driven by Nissan, arrived in Mumbai on Saturday.
Speaking at the event, the batsman-turned-commentator spoke highly of India’s chances at next year’s World Cup in England and Wales.
“Well, India start as favourites irrespective of how far the World Cup is at this point of time and I see them at the podium holding the trophy, hopefully,” said Chopra. “They do have whatever it takes to win the trophy.”
“This team has a lot of things going in its favour. The bowling is outstanding and you have got some of the finest batsmen. So, a lot of things are in India’s favour and hopefully England will be nice and accommodating for us as it has happened in the past — the two Champions Trophies (2013 and 2017), so hopefully we will be able to pick up the World Cup.”
One area of concern for India in recent times has been filling the No. 4 spot in their batting line-up. However, following Ambati Rayudu’s impressive performances in the ODI series against the Windies, Chopra believes that problem has now been solved.
“We tried a dozen batsman at [the No. 4 spot] but now it feels that Ambati has sealed the deal. His boarding pass, in my opinion, is already printed for that flight to England. With Ambati already at No. 4, there’s not many places up for grabs, and this shows that the team is settled.”
Before the World Cup gets underway in May 2019, India have back-to-back away series against Australia and New Zealand.
While these provide India a further opportunity for finding their best combinations, Chopra doesn’t believe the result will have any bearing on their World Cup hopes.
“You do need to tick a few boxes and the more you play the better you get,” added Chopra.
“You get to know who is going to be your finisher, who is going to be your third seamer. So, from that vantage point, the series of New Zealand is important, but the outcome of that series will have no bearing on what happens in June and July.”
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