Indian batting legend and former captain Sunil Gavaskar named defending champions England as the favourites for the upcoming World Cup in India starting October 5 as well. The Jos Buttler-led side came into the tournament in sublime form, beating New Zealand 3-1 in the home ODI series and following it up with a 1-0 win against Ireland as well. However, after a dismal show in 2015, where they were eliminated from qualification to the quarter-final by Bangladesh, England evolved under new captain Eoin Morgan. And, they won the 2019 edition as well.
Speaking to Star Sports on ‘Mission World Cup’ Gavaskar said: “The defending champions, England because of the kind of talent that they have at, at the top of the order, the batting order, they’ve got two or three world-class all -rounders who can change the game with both bat and ball. They’ve also got a very good bowling line-up, experienced bowling line-up, so at the moment in my book certainly.”
While Eoin Morgan retired from international cricket, veteran all-rounder Ben Stokes reversed his decision and returned to play in ODIs as well. England will play two warm-up matches against Team India in Guwahati on September 30 and against Bangladesh at the same venue on October 2 as well. Meanwhile, former pace bowler Irfan Pathan went with India as the favourites for the mega event based on their recent form in the Asia Cup and against Australia as well.
“I’m very excited to see how India performs and I really think they are one of the favorites, for sure because especially last couple of series, like Asia Cup, and the way India played against Australia as well in the home conditions. I think they are ticking all the boxes,” said Pathan on Star Sports.”They have players who are performing really well but you have a guy like Mohammed Shami, who’s not in the part of playing 11 consistently, who’s a world-class bowler itself, so it shows the kind of team India has and at the same time the bench strength India has,” added Irfan Pathan.