The 2019 Cricket World Cup begins later this month, with the first game being held at The Oval on May 30th. For the first time in the competition’s 34-year history, the group stages have changed to a 10-team format. Each participating team playing each other in a round-robin, before the top four progress to the semi-finals. Each country’s provisional 15-man squad has been announced and the outright winner odds are already getting punters talking. So let’s take a look at each country’s chances of success…
England – 2/1
In Cricket World Cup betting, England may be the favourites to lift the trophy this year, but they’ve never won the tournament. And have finished as runner-up on three occasions. In ODI cricket, England lead the way, with an average of 6.25 runs every over (the only team to boast an average over six). Individually, they have six players in the top 10 of the world’s fastest-scoring batsmen. Jos Buttler leads the way with an average of 123 runs per 100 balls, with 75 sixes from 72 matches since the last World Cup. While Eoin Morgan is deadly, with 93 sixes and 2,875 runs from 76 matches. The likes of Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy are also likely to get the runs that propel England forward. Add in the threat of spin-bowler Adil Rashid and it’s understandable why the hosts are widely-fancied for the title.
India – 11/4
Two-time winners India are up there again as one of the favourites and with good reason. They have the number one bowler in Jasprit Bumrah, who has taken 85 wickets in 49 ODI matches. Plus the world number one and two batsmen in Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. The conditions shouldn’t affect their game too much as the Men in Blue finished as runners-up in the last two ICC Champions Trophies held in England.
Australia – 7/2
Australia may be the most successful team in the Cricket World Cup with a total of five wins, but they are set to be the dark horses this year. They’re third-favourites with the bookies after recalling Steve Smith and David Warner to the squad. Following their year-long bans for the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa. In the build-up to the tournament, they’ve beaten India and Pakistan and look a different side to the one that was in collapse last year. The defending champions could do it again – just whisper it quietly!
And the rest:
South Africa – 9/1
Several questions have been asked of the South Africa squad, with injuries taking their toll and Imran Tahir, the oldest player in the tournament at the age of 40. Despite match-winners in their squad, the first test comes on the opening day, as they face England.
New Zealand – 9/1
New Zealand have the players to try and mix it with the big boys of cricket: take a look at bowler, Trent Boult and batsman, Ross Taylor – easily up there with the best. In the last World Cup, they were runners-up and have been semi-finalists on six occasions, so don’t rule them out.
Pakistan – 14/1
Unpredictable and inconsistent, Pakistan may have won the last ICC Champions Trophy, held in England two years ago (so they can adapt to the conditions); but they were recently whitewashed by Australia in the ODI series. They face the Aussies again in the first game, which could well determine their fate in the tournament.
West Indies – 14/1
The Windies will no doubt be relying on the batting skills of their star-man and vice-captain, Chris Gayle as he plays in his fifth – and most likely, final – World Cup. Currently ninth in the ICC rankings and having last won the tournament 40 years ago, they have their work cut out.
Afghanistan – 100/1
Afghanistan qualified after beating Ireland in last year’s qualifier and they may well avoid the wooden spoon with young bowlers Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman set for big things, following recent exposure on the international stage. Can they cause an upset?
Bangladesh – 100/1
They may well have beaten Sri Lanka and the West Indies in ODIs recently, but the Bangladesh squad lacks strength in depth to challenge for a place in the semi-finals. No-one’s really expecting anything from them. Although they may well cause a shock or two – just not enough for a string of winning results.
Sri Lanka – 100/1
The Sri Lankan’s squad selection rose a few eyebrows. With only one bowler in the world’s top 40 and without a batsman in the top 30. So it’s no real surprise they’re rank underdogs.