The 2019 ICC World Cup is going to be a radically different version from the 2015 edition. There are only 10 teams that will be competing for the prize down from 14 in the 2015 version. All of the teams are going to play each other once in the group stage and then the top-4 sides will qualify for the semi-finals.
The top team after the group stage will play the fourth team in one semi-final while the second and the third team will play each other in the other semi-final. The winner of the semi-final will play each other in the final.
This format ensures that each side is going to play the same opponents to determine which the best four sides are. It is similar to the 1992 World Cup format in most regards.
|Team||Played||Wins||Losses||Points||Net Run Rate|
There has been a lot of re-shuffling in the order of world cricket since the 2015 ICC World Cup. Australia is no longer the unbeatable powerhouse it once was while England has transformed itself from playing an outdated style of cricket to leading the charge into the new era. South Africa and New Zealand continue to produce quality players which should keep them in contention while Pakistan can never be counted out as it showed in the Champions Trophy.
Which team will win the ICC World Cup 2019?
If there is any team in the world that can claim to be close to England right now then that’s India. The number 2 ranked side in the world is quite similar to England in some respects and very different in others. India has also always been a force in ODI cricket but we believe this current side is one of the strongest that has been ever assembled.
Like England, India has also lost just one ODI series (against England) since 2016 at the time of writing. The side has won across the world including a 5-1 thrashing of South Africa in South Africa.
India lost the final of the Champions Trophy to Pakistan and that loss brought about some changes which we believe has made into a much stronger force. The batting was always a strength for India but its bowling often lacked genuine wicket-taking options in the middle overs.
Now, with Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, and Yuzvendra Chahal, India has five quality bowlers to bank upon. The two wrist spinners have risen to be among the top-ranked bowlers of ODI cricket. Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal will be the bowlers that are tasked with being wicket-takers in the middle overs while Bumrah and Kumar take over in the death.
India also has the option of including Ravindra Jadeja or Krunal Pandya as a spinning all-rounder of it so needs. The batting is led by Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Shikhar Dhawan, all three of whom are among the best ODI batsmen in the world. In fact, Kohli and Sharma are easily the two best batsmen in the world. The competition for the rest of the batting spots has yielded Ambati Rayadu, MS Dhoni, and Kedar Jadhav as the players to make the starting eleven barring injury.
India comes into this ICC World 2019 with all bases covered and potential replacements that would walk into other international sides.
World Cup 2019 Prediction: Winners
Another side which has never won the ICC Cricket World Cup in the past, South Africa has a somewhat touchy past with the subject.
South Africa was perhaps the best team in 1992, the year of its readmission when it was thwarted by the rain. Brian Lara got in the way in 1996 with a brilliant century while the tie in the semi-final against Australia is rated as the best ever ODI match played in cricketing history. The rain returned with a DLS miscalculation in 2003, a brilliant Australian side stopped it in 2007, a collapse against New Zealand from a winning position in 2011, and a heart-stopping semifinal loss against New Zealand in 2015.
It seems like the world is rooting for South Africa to get over the hump and shed the tag of ‘chokers’ that has weighed so heavily around its neck.
Once again, South Africa goes into the 2019 cricket World Cup with high hopes. The side has a brilliant batting order with the likes of Quinton de Kock, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, JP Duminy, and David Miller making up the top-order.
All of these are players that are highly talented, experienced, and have had success playing limited overs cricket around the world.
Now add some excellent all-rounders like Chris Morris and Andile Phehlukwayo to the mix. The South African cricket team immediately starts to look very formidable but the best is yet to come. A bowling unit with players like Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Dale Steyn, Imran Tahir, and Tabraiz Shamsi is capable of destroying any lineup.
South Africa has the personnel to win the World Cup this time as well. It is among the fittest, the most talented, and one of the best-balanced lineups in the world. It is also being led by Faf du Plessis, who is one of the shrewdest brains in the game and someone who does not crack under pressure.
Perhaps the biggest hurdle for South Africa will be overcoming the mental scars from its history of tragic exits from the World Cup.
World Cup 2019 Prediction: Semi-finalists
For Bangladesh to be ranked above teams like Afghanistan and West Indies represents a big improvement, although, its fans will feel that it has been a long time coming. The ODI format is the one where Bangladesh has made the most improvement over the last few years.
Perhaps the best time for Bangladesh ODI cricket was back in 2015 when the side managed to beat India, Pakistan, and South Africa in consecutive ODI series. That form did not last and Bangladesh has struggled for consistency since then.
Losses to Afghanistan, Scotland, Ireland, and Zimbabwe in limited overs cricket shows that Bangladesh is still very much a team in development. Supporters of the sideshow frustration at the inability of Bangladesh to perform to a high standard and make the leap from a developing side but that is the current state of affairs.
Bangladesh is going to be looked at as one of the sides which can be tricky to navigate. There are some very good players in the Bangladesh side that can help them pull off upsets. Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Shakib Al Hasan, and Mushfiqur Rahim form the core of a strong batting unit.
A dependence on Tamim Iqbal to provide the strong starts is something to be worried about as Bangladesh may fall apart if he gets out early. Rescuing the side form many such collapses has been Mishfiqur Rahim, a player that has improved leaps and bounds in the last couple of years.
Mushfiqur Rahim is experienced enough to know how to navigate tough situations and has the ability to score big runs. If some of the younger players like Liton Das and Sabbir Rahman can make a similar leap then Bangladesh is going to be a tough side to beat.
The bowling is spin heavy although a few good pacers have emerged. Shakib Al Hasan and Mehidy Hasan are the two prime spinners of the side. Mashrafe Mortaza, Rubel Hossain, and Mustafizur Rahman are likely to be in the starting eleven of most Bangladesh matches.
The Bangladesh side looks very decent on paper and is another side that plays fearlessly on big occasions. We think the side will target wins against teams like the West Indies, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, and maybe look to pull off an upset against some of the bigger boys.
We don’t see Bangladesh reaching the semi-final stage of the ICC World Cup 2019.
World Cup 2019 Prediction: 9th
New Zealand has never won a men’s cricket World Cup even though it always seems to be there at the business end of the tournament. New Zealand made the final in 2015 and then collapsed quite spectacularly in front of a rampaging Australia.
Can New Zealand go one better and actually win the ICC Cricket World Cup?
There are some very good ODI players in the New Zealand side. Martin Guptill is one of the world’s few batsmen to have scored a double century in ODI cricket while Colin Munro has taken his chances to become one of the most feared batsmen in limited overs cricket.
Kane Williamson is perhaps the heart of this batting lineup. He plays risk-free cricket while scoring at a decent clip. If he is in form then the New Zealand batting starts to look a lot more formidable. The emergence of young players like George Worker at the top of the order is also a huge plus.
Worker got his opportunity in the absence of Guptill and has proven his worth by playing a few match-winning innings.
Ross Taylor and Tom Latham are a part of a strong middle order. There is experience, power, and ability to play both spin and pace well in this lineup. A bevy of all-rounders provides balance and depth the New Zealand side as well.
Colin de Grandhomme, Corey Anderson, and Tim Southee are all capable with both bat and ball. The real strength of New Zealand, though, is its bowling lineup. Lockie Ferguson, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, and Trent Boult are genuine wicket takers in all conditions.
They are expected to be the crux of the side that plays for New Zealand barring any injuries and we believe they will pose a serious challenge to every single opponent they come across.
World Cup 2019 Prediction: 5th
Pakistan returns to the scene of its most famous ODI victory since the 1992 World Cup, the Champions Trophy win against India in the final. Not many people gave Pakistan a chance to do well in that tournament either but it is foolishness to write of Pakistan in world events.
Somehow, the team seems to rise above any internal conflicts that are going on, any selection issues plaguing the side, or anything else that seems to be a major barrier and out-performs expectations.
The format of the ICC cricket World 2019 is going to test Pakistan. Teams that make it to the semi-finals will have to play a consistently good brand of cricket straight from the beginning. Pakistan is often a side that starts tournaments slowly and then builds up momentum as it goes along.
The biggest challenge for Pakistan is going to be getting its batting firing. Apart from Babar Azam, there is no other consistent world-class player in the side. Yes, Fakhar Zaman was the hero of the Champions Trophy final and even scored a double hundred against Zimbabwe after that but he has not looked like coming close to being a consistent match winner for Pakistan.
Imam ul Haq, in fact, has a better technique and could provide a solid base from which Pakistan can build upon.
Pakistan’s batting has been left behind in an era where massive scores are becoming the norm. Players like Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, and Sarfaraz Ahmed are going to form the heart of the Pakistani batting order .
Hafeez and Malik are on their last World Cup assignment for sure while Sarfaraz Ahmed is very unreliable. Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan, and Imad Wasim provide some depth to the Pakistani side but neither of these players can be considered as a genuine all-rounder.
At best, they are batsmen that can bowl.
Pakistan’s strength is its bowling. The likes of Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Amir, and Faheem Ashraf can expect to be a part of the World Cup squad. Mohammad Amir may not have been a part of the Pakistani ODI recently but we cannot for one second think he is going to be ignored for the world cup.
Quality spinners like Shadab Khan and Imad Wasim add variety to a potent attack. For Pakistan to win in England, the bowling will have to lead the way while a couple of batsmen will have to bat out of their skins.
World Cup 2019 Prediction: 6th
The pressure on England to win a major ODI trophy is well and truly on. The side has been playing an aggressive brand of cricket ever since its humiliating exit from the ICC World Cup 2015 with the defeat against Bangladesh being its lowest point.
Eoin Morgan has since molded the side into the most aggressive batting unit in the world. No other side scores 300 with more consistency than England does, no other side has more scores over 350 from 2015 onward, and no side has been as successful in winning ODI contests as England over the last few years.
England has only lost one series to India in India since 2016. That’s an absolutely brilliant level of consistency and includes victories in Australia, UAE, West Indies, and New Zealand. Every single opponent that has come across England has talked about the shock and awe they feel while gazing at its batting.
Some players that stand out include Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, and Eoin Morgan himself in the batting order. Jason Roy and Alex Hales have also been brilliant but only one of those two seems likely to be able to play in a packed batting order.
This means that England has power through its batting order and a batting that stretches longer than any other side in the world. The bowling has been a bit of a concern for England. The side tends to go for a lot of runs on many occasions.
Adil Rashid has been invaluable to Morgan as an aggressive spinner while the Curran brothers will be crucial in the death. A consistent out and out fast bowler is the only missing piece from England’s final setup at the moment.
The last two World Cup’s have been won by the home team and it is no exaggeration to say that England goes into the ICC World Cup 2019 at the overwhelming favorite.
World Cup 2019 Prediction: Semi-finalists
The newest entrant to the Test Match club also made it through the qualifiers and is going to be a part of the 10 man World Cup. It is a great achievement for Afghanistan because it shows the strides the side has made in a short amount of time.
Afghanistan may be the least ranked side in the World Cup and no one expects it to win but it will take a very brave man to bet it will go the entire ICC World Cup 2019 without a win. There are plenty of players in the side that play T20 cricket in England and have a fair idea of what to expect from the conditions.
Afghanistan also showed it could hold its own against the best sides in the Asia Cup. Afghanistan beat Sri Lanka, tied with India, and came close to beating both Bangladesh and Pakistan. Had a few things gone its way, Afghanistan could well have been competing in the final of the Asia Cup this year.
The first name that comes up when you talk of Afghanistan cricket is Rashid Khan. The 20-year-old leg-spinner is a phenomenon around the world. He plays in T20 leagues around the world and has succeeded in every type of condition he is put into. As one of the most valuable T20 players around the world, Rashid Khan will be hoping to convert that experience and skill into a couple of victories during this World Cup campaign.
Rashid Khan forms a part of some talented spinner in the Afghanistan side. Mujeeb Ur Rahman is another quality spinner that bowls predominantly in the powerplay and can be very difficult to pick. Mohammad Nabi bowls flat and fast, is always economical and is another player with vast experience of playing T20 cricket around the world.
The side lacks in its fast bowling resources, quality all-rounders to help balance the side, and batting experience. There are players that have played hundreds of matches but they don’t quite have the ability to pace ODI innings consistently.
Mohammad Shahzad may be the player that tried to get Afghanistan off to flying starts but we are looking at Rahmat Shah as the one player to score runs consistently for Afghanistan throughout the tournament.
An upset by Afghanistan against one of the mid-tier teams is a definite possibility.
World Cup 2019 Prediction: 10th
We came closer to having a World Cup without the West Indies than most people realize. A dodgy umpiring decision was all that stood between the West Indies exiting the qualifiers and possibly sinking into a deep, irrecoverable spiral.
Of course, there are many people that think the West Indies is already in such a spiral. There is some reason for hope, though. Some of the ‘major’ West Indian players are expected to be back for the World Cup and that could be a big boost to the side.
Some young players have also emerged in the meantime and are making the world take notice of their talents. On paper, the West Indies side is not a bad side at all and has some players that can easily play match-winning innings.
Chris Gayle is expected to be with the West Indian side for the World Cup and we all know what he is capable of. If Gayle gets going then there is a very good chance the West Indies wins that game. How many time he can actually play such an inning remains to be seen.
Gayle is likely to be paired with Evin Lewis at the top of the order. That is an opening combination that every single team will be wary of. Lewis has not been in the best of form but there is no doubting his class.
Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer, and maybe Darren Bravo should find a place in the middle order for the West Indies. Hope and Hetmyer are young players that have made their mark in international cricket and should try to use the World Cup as a launch pad for really taking off their careers.
Darren Bravo is back in the West Indian fold, Marlon Samuels is still around, while a clutch of all-rounders gives the batting some real depth. Rovman Powell, Andre Russell (maybe), and Jason Holder could prove to the heavy hitters down the order making all the difference.
Oshane Thomas, Kemar Roach, Obed McCoy, Devendra Bishoo, and Ashley Nurse are the bowlers that are likely to be picked in the West Indian squad. With a range of all-rounders in the playing eleven, the West Indian captain is not going to be short people to turn to.
We don’t think the West Indies is going to the semi-final stages but it is not the pushover that people expect it to be.
World Cup 2019 Prediction: 7th
There is no side whose fortunes have fallen so suddenly since the last world cup as Australia. The defending champions, Australia is also the most successful side in ODI history. It is always a contender in World Cups having won in 1987, 1999, 2003, 2007, and 2015.
Australia also made the final in 1975 and 1996 as well.
We like to think of Australia as the exact opposite of South Africa. Just as there is a stereotype of South Africans crumbling in key situations, which is borne out of some truth, there is also a stereotype of Australians thriving under pressure.
Key players from the side put in their best performances and that is exactly what is going to be needed to run things around for Australia. The return of Steve Smith and David Warner to the side should Australia regain some of the dominance they have lost in the last year or so.
Smith and Warner would have played just one series against Pakistan before the World Cup since being suspended for ball tampering but that does not mean the pair is going to short of top-quality cricket. Steve Smith and David Warner are allowed to play in T20 leagues around the world which will keep them fresh and raring to go.
Of course, just hoping that the two of them can come in and fix everything is a bit foolhardy. Batsmen like Aaron Finch, Shaun Marsh, Darcy Short, and Travis Head must play well too.
Australia has the advantage of having some quality all-rounders and a world-class bowling attack at its disposal. Players like Glen Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, and even Travis Head add tremendous balance to the side.
It gives the captain options while both batting and fielding to react according to the situation. The bowling should comprise of bowlers like Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazelwood, Adam Zampa, Andrew Tye, and Nathan Coulter-Nile. Someone like Pat Cummins could be considered for the World Cup as well if the selectors are certain of his fitness.
With two of their best batsmen back, a full strength bowling squad at its disposal, and a bevy of hard-hitting all-rounders, Australia should not be underestimated in this tournament.
World Cup 2019 Prediction: Semi finalists
Sri Lanka’s fall in world cricket has o be alarming for all the stakeholders because the side has gone from being one of the giants of the ODI game to be leaps and bounds behind the top teams of the world. All of this in the span of a few years.
It has been many years since the Sri Lankan greats retired and the country needs to introspect why their positions remain empty even now. Perhaps, Lasith Malinga is the only cricketer that can qualify as an ODI great and he is clearly well past his best now.
Sri Lanka has seen the sacking (and return) of Angelo Mathews after a failure to win a single match in the Asia Cup. Captains have changed more frequently in Sri Lanka than any other country around the world. Players have been dropped only to be brought back later a few series later because the replacements were worse.
All of this leaves Sri Lanka in a precarious position going to the World Cup. Sri Lanka is still a side that can cause the odd upset but we don’t see it consistently being able to beat the better teams. Some of the players to watch out for Sri Lanka are Upul Tharanga, Angelo Matthews, Kusal Mendis, Lasith Malinga, and Akila Dananjaya.
The batting order of the Sri Lankan side looks pretty decent. It has a number of players that have the ability to score hundreds and some very explosive hitters of the ball. We hope that Niroshan Dickwella plays most of the games and Gunathilaka sorts his disciplinary problems out to make the team consistently because that will give the side a big boost.
Angelo Matthews is no longer the player was and fitness has played a big role in that decline. He may be a liability in the field but he is still one of the best batsmen in Sri Lankan cricket at the moment.
The bowling is also a big concern. The fast bowling resources look bare when compared to the other sides. Suranga Lakmal and Nuwan Pradeep are the two bowlers that will lead the fast bowling efforts but they need some help from the surface to be really effective. Lasith Malinga showed his value in the Asia Cup but whether he can hold up for an entire World Cup campaign is highly debatable.
World Cup 2019 Prediction: 9th
We expect to see the Big -4 teams of ODI cricket distinguish themselves over the multiple matches this World Cup format is going to afford them and make it to the semi-finals. After that, it is anyone's game, but the experience of having played multiple big matches in the recent past and having the strongest batting order should help India prevail.