The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 gets underway on May 30, with host nation England favorites to lift the trophy for the first time in their history.
One-day heavyweights India and Australia will be hoping they can crash the party whilst minnows Afghanistan, appearing in just their second Cricket World Cup, will be keen to show everyone what they are made of.
The tournament format is slightly different this year and sees just 10 teams competing for the ultimate prize, the ICC 2019 Cricket World Cup. In previous years, 2 groups of 7 teams have contested the tournament, with the top 4 from each group progressing to the quarter-final stage. This year, a round-robin will see all the countries in the same group. After each side has faced every opponent, the top 4 finishers head straight to the semi-finals. With the standards higher than ever and a just 4 teams progressing from the group stage, every game is crucial.
Here we take a closer look at each team and some of their stand out players, with the counties ranked in order of their chance of claiming Cricket’s top trophy in London on July 14.
In Jos Buttler, they have the most feared ODI batsmen in world cricket. He has the ability to win a match singlehandedly and averages 57 at a strike rate of 123.76 since the start of last year. Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes and Jason Roy are also all capable of posting colossal totals at frightening rates too. Captain Eoin Morgan suffered a finger fracture in training earlier this week but is expected to be fit for his country’s opening match against South Africa. Jofra Archer will be one to watch at this year’s tournament. The immensely talented pace bowler’s ‘X-factor’ means his inclusion in the squad comes after playing just 3 ODIs. There is a great buzz in the England camp and a feeling that this will be their year. They will have to use the home crowds to their advantage and not let the pressure get to them.
Cricket World Cup Betting Odds for England To win outright: 3.00 To reach the semi-final: 1.16
India are currently 2ndin the ODI rankings and are looking to secure their 3rdIIC Cricket World Cup crown.
The big-hitting Indian trio of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli have a remarkable 42 ODI hundreds between them since the last World Cup. In Jasprit Bumrah they also have the No. 1 ranked ODI bowler. Hardik Pandya is the poster boy of Indian cricket. The box-office all-rounder brings flair and arrogance to an otherwise regimented side. The evergreen MS Dhoni, now 37, will surely be playing in his last World Cup and the Indian legend would love nothing more than to sign off his Cricket career with victory.
India do have a notably weak middle-order that could be exposed by some of the tournament’s top bowlers, but they definitely have what it takes to reach the semi-finals and possibly win the trophy
Cricket World Cup Betting Odds for India To win outright: 4.00 To reach the semi-final: 1.22
The 5-time Cricket World Cup winners, Australia, have a whole host of household names throughout their squad.
Australia’s David Warner and Aaron Finch could well be the strongest opening pair in the tournament; capable of blowing away any team on their day. In Pat Cummins and Mitchell Stark, the Aussies also possess two extremely pacey bowlers and cult hero Nathan Lyon’s off-spin also has the potential to be destructive on the English pitches.
You’d have to think the Aussies will finish in the top 4 and you wouldn’t be stupid to back them to retain their title.
Cricket World Cup Betting Odds for Australia To win outright: 5.00 To reach the semi-final: 1.61
New Zealand, the 2015 Cricket World Cup runners-up, have more than enough firepower to be considered a force to be reckoned with at this year’s World cup.
Kiwi Captain Kane Williamson and the imperious Martin Guptill are magnificent strikers of the ball at the top of the order. Veteran batsmen Ross Taylor is in the form of his life, averaging 81 since the end of the 2017 Champions Trophy. Having played for Derbyshire in the T20 Blast, fiery bowler Lockie Ferguson will be hoping he can use his experience playing in England to help him send stumps flying next month.
The Kiwis are currently considered to be the 4thbest ODI side. Their vicious batsmen and lethal bowlers make them contenders for the title.
Cricket World Cup Betting Odds for New Zealand to win outright: 10.00 To reach the semi-final: 2.10
South Africa’s four semi-final defeats in the last 7 Cricket World Cups will no doubt be playing on their minds heading into the 2019 tournament. Regardless of past failures, South Africa sit 3rdin the ODI rankings and look to be the real deal, winning 6 of their last 7 one-day series.
Master-blaster Quinton de Kock will carry the country’s batting hopes whilst young seamers Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi will lead the bowling attack.Dale Steyn will be doing everything in his power to help South Africa reach their first Cricket World Cup final. The relentless 35-year-old paceman has confirmed this World Cup will be his last tournament.
South Africa will need to put their previous non-fulfillments behind them if they are to challenge for a place in the semi-finals.
Cricket World Cup Betting Odds for South Africa To win outright: 11.00 To reach the semi-final: 2.05
Form is against Pakistan going into the World Cup. Pakistan have won just 3 of their last 20 ODIs and recently suffered a 4-0 series defeat to England. Pakistan sit 6thin the World Rankings and will be looking to their Champions Trophy win on English soil in 2017 for inspiration.
Pakistan’s batsmen have registered 18 one-day hundreds since then and will need to continue these high standards if they are to make the final 4. Left-arm fast bowler Shaheen Afridi will be hoping he can add to his already impressive white ball record. The teenager has already taken 24 wickets in 14 ODIs.
Whilst Pakistan are not one of the front runners, they cannot be written off. A semi-final spot is well within their capabilities.
Cricket World Cup Betting Odds for Pakistan To win outright: 19.00 To reach the semi-final: 2.62
2-time winners West Indies have a squad packed with white ball specialists, enigmatic characters and big game players. Although their triumphs came all the way back in 1975 and 1979, West Idiesy will be quietly confident of rattling some of the big guns.
Chris Gayle’s brutal batting is set to be on show for the last time as he brings an end to a remarkable ODI career. To say he will be in the mood when he takes the crease next month is a massive understatement. In Jason Holder, West Indies possess one of the most accomplished all-rounders in international cricket.Holder has scored over 1,000 runs and taken more than 50 wickets since the last World Cup.
West Indies are an unpredictable side and on their day are capable of beating anyone. If their big hitters get it right, a semi-final spot in the Cricket World Cup is possible. If West Indies do not perform, expect to see them finish near the bottom of the table.
Cricket World Cup Betting Odds for West Indies To win outright: 19.00 To reach the semi-final: 2.87
7th in the ODI rankings, Bangladesh have vastly improved in the 50 over format of the game in recent years.
Key men for Bangladesh include left-arm seamer Mustafizur Rahman and Tamim Iqbal, who has earned himself the reputation of being one of the most reliable one-day batsmen around. The Tigers have a mixture of youth and experience in their squad. 35-year-old Mashrafe Mortaza, playing in his fourth World Cup, will bring wisdom and know-how to the team. Mortaza will be hoping his country can find the right balance between old and new as some of the more youthful players will be looking to express themselves and play without fear.
Bangladesh’s record of 20 losses in 32 World Cup matches is less than satisfactory, but a quarter-final appearance in the 2015 competition will fill them with optimism.It’s likely Bangladesh will struggle against the top teams in the tournament and therefore it’s unrealistic to consider them semi-final contenders.
Cricket World Cup Betting Odds for Bangladesh To win outright: 81.00 To reach the semi-final: 13.00
Afghanistan’s strength is definitely their bowling and Rashid Khan is one of the best white-ball bowlers in the world right now. The leg spinner has picked up 125 wickets since the last World Cup in 2015; only England’s Adil Rashid (129) has taken more wickets in that time. 18-year-old Mujeeb Ur Rahman is also a real threat with the ball and has experience playing in England, having spent time with Hampshire last year. On the other hand, Bangladesh’s top 3 batsmen have the lowest average of any team coming into the tournament (30.28).
Despite beating Pakistan in a recent warm-up match in Bristol, it would be a real shock if Afghanistan were to finish anywhere near the top of the table.
Cricket World Cup Betting Odds for Afghanistan To win outright: 81.00 To reach the semi-final: 12.00
After final appearances in the 2007 and 2011 World Cup, Sri Lanka’s white ball exploits have been well below par in recent years. The Lions’ questionable selection policy and failure to replace their retired stars has seen them slump to 9thplace in the ODI rankings.
Cricket World Cup Betting Odds for Sri Lanka To win outright: 101.00 To reach the semi-final: 13.00