World Cup Final: Ricky Ponting, Shoaib Akhtar predict champions as England face New Zealand
Ricky Ponting and Shoaib Akhtar gave their predictions as England take on New Zealand in the ICC World Cup 2019 final at the Lord’s.Updated: Jul 15, 2019 08:27 IST
Former Australia skipper and three-time World Cup winner Ricky Ponting backed England to create history by winning their first ever World Cup title when they take on New Zealand in the ICC World Cup 2019 final at the Lord’s on Sunday. Ponting said that he believes that England will win and he thinks that he is ‘too much class’ in England for them to not win the title. Both England and New Zealand have not won a World Cup title and on Sunday, the World Cup will have a first time winner irrespective of the result.
“I think England will win, I said before the tournament started that I thought they’d be exceptionally hard to beat. I had them as the favourites coming in, nothing changes now. New Zealand have done amazingly well to get into the final and well done to them. Two consecutive World Cup finals is an awesome achievement for that group and they’ll have some experiences to take out of that last final, whereas none of the England players have played in a final before. That being said, I think there’s just a bit too much class in this England side for them not to win,” he said according to a report in Times Now.
Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar also echoed Ponting’s sentiments and said that England will be creating history by winning their first ever World Cup title at Lord’s.
“Pressure plays a big role in big matches. England is a big team. I think they will create history at Lord’s by winning their first ever 50-over World Cup. New Zealand needs to perform in all departments of the game. Guptill needs to score runs for New Zealand to give the team a solid base at the top,” Akhtar said in a video posted on his YouTube channel.
“Jos Buttler should bat at top of the order, and if he gets the opportunity he will score big runs for the team. I hope for a thrilling match, it would be disappointing to see a batting collapse in the finals,” he added.
First Published: Jul 14, 2019 18:26 IST