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ICC World Cup 2019: Ricky Ponting picks his ‘clear favourite’, makes big comment about India

Speaking about defending champions Australia’s chances in the upcoming World Cup, Ponting said Aaron Finch’s men should not be counted out, especially after the return of Steve Smith and David Warner.

cricket Updated: May 22, 2019 18:44 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
ICC World Cup 2019,Ricky Ponting,Cricket World Cup
File image of Ricky Ponting(Getty Images)

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has picked his ‘favourites’ to win the upcoming ICC World Cup 2019, slated to begin from May 30 in England. The two-time World Cup winning captain put his weight firmly behind hosts England.

Explaining the reason behind his pick, Ponting said England are currently in great form and the fact that the World Cup will be played in their own backyard will also act as an added advantage for Eoin Morgan’s side.

“Initially, it would be England for two reasons. England have started playing well in limited overs and the tournament will be played on home. Naturally, they will have some home advantage,” Ponting told Times of India.

READ: India’s all-time World Cup XI - Kohli misses out, Kapil to lead side

Ponting, however, was quick to point to that England will face tough competition from India and Australia. “But England will be challenged by India and Australia,” he said.

England go into the World Cup as the No. 1 ranked ODI side. They thumped Pakistan 4-0 in the recently-concluded five-match ODI series with their batsmen putting up scores in excess of 340 in all those matches.

Hailing the format of the ICC World Cup 2019, Ponting said it will provide all teams an equal opportunity and sides like, South Africa, Pakistan and West Indies can spoil the party of the top-ranked teams. “They are also good. This would be a very open World Cup. Although England are clear favourites, there are other strong teams who can cause upsets,” Ponting added.

READ: ‘Ravi Shastri has taken a back seat as India coach unlike Greg Chappell’

Speaking about defending champions Australia’s chances in the upcoming World Cup, Ponting said Aaron Finch’s men should not be counted out, especially after the return of Steve Smith and David Warner.

“The inclusion of these two cricketers (Smith and Warner) would definitely enhance Australia’s performance in the World Cup. Australia did not do well while they were away from the team. I’m sure, not only me, but the whole team is really excited to have them back,” he said.

First Published: May 20, 2019 12:47 IST