The cricket-crazy fans around the world would be anticipating with bated breath till the first ball is delivered in the ensuing 50-over World Cup scheduled in October-November 2023 in India. The Indian cricket fans would be licking their mouths with absolute glee knowing fully well that the home conditions indeed offer some advantages to Team India. Playing in familiar conditions always provides an advantage to the home team and as such, Team India must be gearing up to exploit the same to the fullest. Most of the Boards have already announced their respective teams for the marquee event, including the BCCI when the Team India squad was unveiled recently. Let’s delve further to understand who stands a chance to go the whole distance.
PC – HT
By virtue of being the host nation, Team India has better prospects of lifting the coveted cup after 12 long years. Remember, India won the 2011 World Cup when MS Dhoni was at the helm of affairs. Interestingly, all three successive host nations have won the last three editions of the World Cup. After India, Australia won the 2015 edition, followed by England winning the 2019 edition. If the trend continues, Team India definitely stands a chance to triumph in the ensuing edition. The squad chosen for the event offers Team India a great balance that could be put to good use to emerge victorious in the end. On paper, the Rohit Sharma-led team covers all the bases with a welcome mixture of experience, firepower, youth, and horses for course cricketers.
Of course, England and Australia have always been the teams to beat, especially in white-ball cricket. Cricket fans would know how the England team has transformed itself over the years by adopting an attacking form of play right from the start of the game. As you must be aware, England has carried the same brand of cricket into Test matches too returning handsome dividends over the last couple of years. The return of Ben Stokes from 50-over international retirement only augurs well for England. Multiple-time champions Australia is a threat for all opposition teams and hence, are rightly considered as one of the favourites to lift the Cup. The team from Down Under also has a balanced look to it capable of rolling any team easily on their day.
PC – Rashmi Nanda
The Kiwis must be considered as perennial underperformers repeatedly failing to cross the last hurdle. Mind you, Team New Zealand has lost two successive World Cup finals against Australia and England, respectively. It’s amazing to see how a team without too many superstars somehow manages to reach the finals through impressive performances. Will the Kiwis be able to cross the finishing line this time around? Not for nothing Pakistan is labelled as a team that can be erratic and unpredictable but hugely capable of upsetting any opposition. Pakistan can be equally dangerous. Going by pure cricketing logic, these four teams should be making it to the semifinals. But cricket is a game of uncertainties and as such, some unexpected surprises cannot be ruled out.