Brian Lara, India, India vs South Africa 2020, New Zealand vs India 2020
Brian Lara. Credit: Getty Images

The ICC World Cup 2019 is round the corner, and the participating countries have already named their provisional squad for the marquee event in England and Wales starting from May 30. With only one month to go, former cricketers and pundits have already started to pick their top contenders for the tournament. Recently, legendary Windies cricketer Brian Lara has picked his top contenders for the 12th edition of the ICC World Cup.

Meanwhile, many have tipped England and India as the favourites to lift the trophy. However, the recent results suggest that no team have outright chances in this big tournament. Indian National Cricket team have been dominant in the last two years beating teams like South Africa, Australia and New Zealand at their home turf. But their recent loss against Australia from 2-0 up to 2-3 down has raised questions on their side.

Zaheer Khan, ICC World Cup 2019, India
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On the other hand, England – the top-ranked ODI side have been dominant since their ouster from the 2015 World Cup. They have defeated all the top teams but the recent series against Windies questionned the balance of their side. Besides, Australia have also picked up at the right time while New Zealand have always been in contention. Meanwhile, Brian Lara in a recent chat with TOI picked England and India as the top contenders for the semifinal spot.

Normally, I’d like to make my choices after watching all teams play their first one or two games. But since you’re asking, well, England? Normally, I’d never risk backing them because they’ve never failed to lose that one important game (laughs). But this team looks good. So, them and India – two teams I believe will definitely be in the semifinals,” Lara said.

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Would love to see Windies in semifinal

Furthermore, Brian Lara also added that he would like to see his country Windies in the semifinal of the tournament. However, he didn’t want to divert from reality and added that the current side have been inconsistent and they need to avoid that in the upcoming World Cup.

Windies will have to play some consistent cricket. We’ve shown that we can beat England or India. We can beat any team on our day. But then we lose against a Bangladesh or an Afghanistan, and we let it all go away. So, that’s what West Indies have to avoid. I would love to see them get to the semifinals,” he concluded.

Ankush Das

I am an accountant by qualification, my parents thought their obedient son would study further to become a CA, but I had other things in mind. An ardent Cricket fan is following his passion and making a living watching and working around his favorite sport.