Known for wearing his heart on his sleeves, Gautam Gambhir had no hesitations in naming a clear favourite for the upcoming ODI World Cup 2019 in England, slated to begin from May 30.
Gambhir minced no words and picked defending champions Australia as his favourite to win the World Cup. “Australia are my first favourite. They should definitely play the final,” Gambhi said.
Interestingly, Australia had their worst run in ODI cricket before turning things around in the five-match ODI series against India. They stunned Kohli & Co. 3-2 earlier this year to win their first ODI series in India in 10 years and then went on to drub Pakistan 5-0 in the UAE.
With the likes of Steve Smith and David Warner back in the mix, there is no reason why Australia cannot emerge as the winners.
Gambhir was also more or less clear about the finalists of World Cup 2019. He said either England or India will face Australia in the final on July 14.
“Australia’s opposition in the final will be between two of my joint second-favourite teams, England and India. Not because England are playing at home. Of late they are an improved side, having quality cricketers in almost all the positions. They are balanced. With Jofra Archer, England will be a force to reckon with,” Gambhir said.
About India’s team balance, Gambhir said they would heavily depend on captain Virat Kohli and vice-captain Rohit Sharma. As far as their bowling is concerned, Jasprit Bumrah will be the ‘X-factor’. “As far as batting is concerned, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli will have to score heavily. In the bowling, Jasprit Bumrah will be the X-factor,” added Gambhir.
The former India World Cup winning batsman also stated that this will be an interesting World Cup because of the format. “It should be a very interesting World Cup and there will be tough fight among at least six countries. Each team will have to play with each other in this World Cup. Teams will have to be on their toes for all the matches. No team can afford to relax in any of the group league matches,” Gambhir signed off.