India Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane has said said that hosts England and West Indies are biggest threats in the forthcoming ICC World Cup 2019. The twelfth edition of the World Cup will get underway on May 30. England will lock horns with South Africa in the first game of the tournament. On the other hand, India will kickstart their campaign on June 5 against South Africa.
At the same time, Rahane, who could not make it to India’s World Cup squad, said that bowling gives Virat Kohli & Co. the edge in the World Cup. The right-handed batsman also said that that early momentum and consistency will be key to India’s success due to the new round-robin format in place. As per the new format, all the top ten teams will play against each other once before the top four teams progress ahead.
“Overall our team is pretty strong. Our overall package is very good. This time the World Cup will be played in a new format, we will play nine league games, so momentum and consistency will be important,” said Rahane.
“If you start well you will have to keep up the momentum, you will have to play consistent cricket throughout the tournament. In ICC tournament any team picks up momentum at any time, so we can’t take any team lightly,” added Rahane.
Rahane further said that India’s bowling attack will give them edge on helpful English conditions. The likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami have formed a formidable pace attack. On the other hand, the likes of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav are two of the best limited-overs spinners in the world at the moment.
“Our overall attack, both pace and spin, is very experienced. The good thing is that all the bowlers in our team are wicket-takers and the team which has wicket-taking bowlers, their chances increase. We have bowlers who can pick up wickets in any situation,” he said.
“The English conditions will definitely help our bowlers because they know the conditions well having played their recently. They will definitely have to make some adjustments but that won’t be a problem,” he added.
He went on talk about the favourites to win the competition and picked New Zealand, apart from the West Indies and England, as favourites along with India.
“I don’t believe in pinpointing any particular team but England is a good team. New Zealand have done well in ICC tournaments and West Indies is an unpredictable side. They can beat any team on their day,” he said.