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Sunil Gavaskar gives reason why Virat Kohli and Co are not top contenders for World Cup

“The strong favourites in the World Cup tournament are England. And it is not because of the fact that it will be a home World Cup for them. But because they have changed their attitude towards ODI cricket,” said Sunil Gavaskar.

cricket Updated: Feb 17, 2019 09:40 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Sunil Gavaskar,Virat Kohli,World Cup
File image of Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni.(AFP/Getty Images)

Batting legend Sunil Gavaskar expressed that England are the favourites to win the World Cup and not the Indian team. The former India captain said that England have become a strong ODI side since the 2015 World Cup.

“The strong favourites in the World Cup tournament are England. And it is not because of the fact that it will be a home World Cup for them. But because they have changed their attitude towards ODI cricket. They had lost in the league stage in 2015 World Cup, probably against Bangladesh. But since then, the manner in which they changed their game, the way in which they picked their team, England have grown into a strong side. They have a good opening pair, they have strong middle-order batters, they also have a good all-rounder in the form of and when you play at home you also have a strong backing,” Gavaskar told India Today.

However, Gavaskar added that India are the second most favourites to win the quadrennial event.

“The advantage that India have is they have played in England for two consecutive years - 2017 and 2018. So the players who will be part of the World Cup squad will be aware of the conditions and hence will be able to use their experience and probably India can use the factor to lift the World Cup. But I feel the most favourites are England and then come India,” Gavaskar said.

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The former India opener expressed that along with India and England, Pakistan and Australia could make it to the semi-finals.

“Pakistan have always been a formidable side. And the Australian team will look strong with the return of Steve Smith and David Warner. So these four teams will be in the semifinals. New Zealand are also favourites because conditions in England are almost similar to theirs. So they cane spring a surprise, but they have never gone ahead of semifinals as what I have seen,” said Gavaskar.

First Published: Feb 16, 2019 11:53 IST