Cricket World Cup 2019: TSR presents the 10 participating teams and their chances of winning the upcoming World Cup based on a few parameters.
The ICC Cricket World Cup in just a dozen days away. The teams are all geared up and preparations might be at full swing in terms of deciding the number of practice sessions, workload management, recovery time, resting period and the likes, apart from the usual pitch conditions, batting order, playing 11 etc.etc.
While a lot will depend on the 10 teams’ preparations based on the aforementioned parameters, a lot will also depend upon parameters like their recent form, their performance in England and Wales and their spinners’ skills and potency, and their hard-hitters in the middle/lower-middle order.
For those who don’t know, the upcoming World Cup will be played in the round-robin format, where each of the 10 teams will face each other, before the top-4 advance to the semi-finals stage.
Chances of winning the World Cup
We will try to rank the teams on a score out of 10. The parameters of judgement would be 4:
-Team’s recent performance (if any) in England and Wales
-The Spinners’ skills and potency
-Hard-hitters in the middle/lower-middle order.
While the reason for the first two parameters is a no brainer. Momentum is a big enough trait in a game like cricket, just like a player’s form is. Thus a good recent form will certainly initiate the teams to start their campaign with a positive frame of mind.
While on the other hand, a team’s performance at the World Cup venue is always handy, as they possess the know-how of the overall conditions there.
The reason why we have chosen the 3rd and the 4th parameters is because:
1) The spinners will play a huge role in the success or failure of all the 10 teams’ World Cup campaign. The pitches in England are expected to be a paradise for the batsmen, as we are currently witnessing in the England vs Pakistan ODI series.
Scores in excess of 330 have been scored and chased down quite comfortably. Thus the spinners’ role in the middle-overs (overs 15-40) will be imperative to check the flow of runs and provide important breakthroughs. Teams with potent spinners will definitely let their captains breathe easy.
2) The other way around, teams with hard-hitters- the ones who can up the ante real quick, without chewing up much of the deliveries, would certainly prove to be an asset in the batting friendly pitches of England. They can provide the much needed momentum the bowlers would need, when batting first. Conversely, they can win close games, wherein teams might be required to score at 12-15 runs per over on an average.
Talking about one of the title favourites and second-ranked team in the world right now, Team India have won the last 4 of the 5 ODI series. This also includes their Asia Cup victory in 2018. They narrowly lost the last ODI series against Australia at home with a 2-3 margin. Thus, team India’s recent ODI form is relatively good, as they defeated Australia and New Zealand in their home soil.
In England, Team India lost the series 1-2, in a 3-match series played in July, 2018. But, they also reached the finals of the Champions Trophy in 2017, and performed brilliantly the entire tournament, until losing to Pakistan in the summit clash. Thus, they have had a mixed performance in England recently.
Talking about their spinners, India have two quality wrist spinners in the form of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, who will prove handy for them in the middle-overs. Apart from him, they also have the services of all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who can also bowl his off-spinners. Thus, India have a decent advantage in this aspect too.
In terms of their hard-hitters. they have the able services of the flamboyant all-rounder Hardik Pandya along with the man himself-the finisher- MS Dhoni. Both have had an excellent IPL season this year and their hitting capabilities would be required in the flat English wickets.
Therefore, overall, barring their recent performance in England, India have covered almost all the bases which are required in the World Cup according to us.
Hence, India’s World Cup winning chances get a score of 8/10.
England have won 4 of their last 5 One-Dayers in the recent past, 3 of which have come away from home. They drew the one series 2-2 against the West Indies at home. Thus, even England have had a good recent run in form.
England will be playing in their home turf in this World Cup and that gives them that extra advantage teams look for in competitive tournaments. At home, the mighty English side have won 4 of their 5 ODI series. This also includes their semi-final loss against Pakistan at the ICC Champions Trophy. Thus, they have had a decent record in their home off-late.
The area where England might be missing the trick is that they only have one genuine spinner- Adil Rashid in their side, who is not in a good enough form. They also have an off-spinner in Moeen Ali, who can be a decent option as well, and can chip in with a few overs. The spin department looks a bit haywire, although Adil Rashid with huis experience can turn things around for them.
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— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) May 19, 2019
In terms of the hard-hitters, England have an abundance of them. Right from the top order- Bairstow and Jason Roy, till the lower order in the form of Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali can smack the leather and turn the tides in their team’s favour. They easily tick the box in this department.
Hence, England’s World Cup winning chances get a score of 8.5/10.
Australia had a terrible last year in the ODI format where they did not win even a single bilateral series. Recent form however, has been quite good for the Australians as they defeated India and Pakistan, 2-1 and 5-0 respectively in their homes (UAE for Pakistan). Moreover, inclusion of David Warner and Steve Smith adds to the strength of the always formidable Australian side.
In England, however, they lost 0-5 against them in the ODI bilateral series. They had even lost against the English side 1-4 in their home soil. Thus, their record in England has been disappointing off-late.
In their spin department, they possess the experience of their off-spinner, Nathon Lyon coupled with the leg-break services of Adam Zampa. Thus, they have their bases covered in the spin department.
At the lower order, they have the services of Glenn Maxwell, who has the reputation of turning the game on its head. He can be ably assisted by Marcus Stoinis, who also has the knack of going for the onslaught if the situation arises. Thus, the Aussies have two good batter who can do the damage down the order.
Hence, Australia’s World Cup winning chances get a score of 8/10.
With 4 losses in the previous 5 ODI series (including the Asia Cup) Pakistan will have to press the restart button coupled with a high degree of optimism to turn things around in this World Cup. They do not start their World Cup with a good run of form.
In England, they have already lost the ongoing series against the home side. But they had won the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017 by defeating the mighty Indians in the finals. Hence, they square out even in their performance in England.
In the form of Shadab Khan and Imad Wasim, they have two decent spinners. The problem however, is their poor form. While Imad Wasim has been hit left and right in the ongoing series against England, Shadab Khan’s illness has been a cause of worry for Pakistan. Thus, the spin department does not show enough promise.
With the likes of Shoaib Malik, Imad Wasim and Asif Ali in the side, Pakistan have decent enough hitters in their arsenal. They recently became the first team to score over 340, consecutively in 3 innings.
Hence, Pakistan’s World Cup winning chances get a score of 6.5/10.
With 2 wins, 2 losses and a draw, the Black Caps do not inspire much confidence in terms of their recent form. Moreover, the two wins too have come against lower ranked sides like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. They have received a drubbing against quality sides like England and India.
They have not played in England, since the ICC Champions trophy two years ago. Hence, they are at a slight disadvantage in this parameter of ours. In the Champions Trophy too, they crashed out of the tournament by losing against the lower ranked Bangladesh side.
Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi are the two good spin bowling options for the Kiwis, in the turfs of England. They have the experience to turn it around for them during the middle overs. They fare well in this aspect of the game.
Talking about hard-hitters, they have some decent talent in that respect in the form of Colin De Grandhomme and Jimmy Neesham. Neesham has provided the Kiwis with some heavy blows in the series against Sri Lanka down the order. Hence, they have this base of ours covered as well.
Hence, New Zealand’s World Cup winning chances get a score of 6.5/10.
The Proteas have won all the bilateral ODI series since 2018 and have given a top notch performance in the limited overs format.
However, they lost 1-2 against England in England, and also were defeated against Pakistan and India in the ICC Champions Trophy before crashing out of the Tournament. Hence, they have not had good England memories in the recent past.
In the form of Imran Tahir, the Proteas have one of the best spinners in their armoury. The other option- Chinaman Tabraiz Shami although seems to be a luxury to have, but has no got enough chance to prove himself in South African colours. Moreover, with very bleak chances of him making through to the Playing 11, the Proteas might be at a slight disadvantage.
With only David Miller as the proven one in terms of onslaught abilities in the Proteas side, South Africa might be a batsman short with effective hitting ability, in their batting order.
Hence, New Zealand’s World Cup winning chances get a score of 6/10.
With 3 wins and 2 losses in the last 5 ODI series (including the Asia Cup in 2018) Bangladesh have had a decent run of form off-late. Even in the Asia Cup, they agonisingly lost in the final delivery against India. They recently won their first ever multi-nation tournament by defeating West Indies, in the Tri-series final.
They have not toured England since their good stint in the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017, where they reached the semi-finals ahead of teams like South Africa and Australia. They might be at a slight disadvantage here, but they won’t perhaps worry much.
They have good spinners like the ever experienced Shakib-Al-Hasan alongside the finger spinner, Mehidy Hasan. The latter has proved himself at the world stage at a very young age and will look to carry that reputation through to the World Cup. Thus, the duo might trouble the batsmen during the middle-overs.
Bangladesh do have exciting batsmen in their squad, but they perhaps do not have the firepower required to boost their score to nearly 350 on a frequent basis (I hope I am wrong).
Hence, Bangladesh’s World Cup winning chances get a score of 7/10.
The Windies have lost 4 of their last 5 ODI series with a draw against England, in England in February 2019. Thus they are going through a poor run of form.
The last time they played in England was way back in 2017 in a 5-match series. They lost that 0-4. Thus they are at a disadvantage in this aspect too.
In the spin department, they have Ashley Nurse and Fabien Alley, who can contain runs but not pick up the wickets in the middle, which will be crucial in England. Hence, they lag behind here too.
With Carlos Brathwaite, Andre Russell and Shimron Hetmyer, the Windies have never been short of batting firepower. But will this arsenal be enough for lifting the World Cup? Perhaps not. But they have what is a decent requirement in England.
Hence, West Indiess’ World Cup winning chances get a score of 3/10.
Alike the Windies, Sri Lankans have also lost their previous 5 ODI bilateral series, and are experiencing a poor run of form since quite some time now.
They lost 1-3 in the 5-match series in 2017-18 and couldn’t even qualify for the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017. Hence, a poor recent record in England as well.
They have only one decent spin bowling option in the form of Jeevan Mendis, who doesn’t inspire much confidence either. Hence, they are likely to have a hard time with the ball.
They have the services of Thisara Parera and Kusal Mendis in the lower order though, who have the ability to smack the leather. They will surely come in handy provided they click.
Hence, Sri Lanka’s World Cup winning chances get a score of 3/10.
Although having won 3 of their last 5 ODI series, Afghanistan have not played white-ball cricket against top cricketing teams. Their wins have come against teams like Scotland, Ireland.
They have never ever played in England. Hence, they are at a clear disadvantage in this respect.
They have 3 quality spinners in the form of Rashid Khan, Mohhammad Nabi and Mujeeb-Ur-Rehman who will surely cause trouble to the biggest of teams in the middle-overs, as they should surely play together.
The Afghan batsmen have clicked in the recent past. But, they have not been able to up the ante, the way they should have. This might hurt them big time in England.
Hence, Afghanistan’s World Cup winning chances get a score of 2/10.