Only a few days are left for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 to begin and all the 10 participating teams are busy giving the final touches to their preparations. The experts are busy predicting the semi-finalists and the probable title winners even though it is the most difficult tasks before the tournament starts.
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has also given his verdict on the upcoming World Cup, picking his title-favourites. The two-time World Cup winning captain has put his weight 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, it will also act as an added advantage for Eoin Morgan-led 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.
The former Australia skipper, however, was quick to point that England will face tough competition from India and Australia. “But England will be challenged by India and Australia,” he said.
England will 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 the matches.
Hailing the format of the 2019 World Cup, 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. “This would be a very open World Cup. Although England are clear favourites, there are other strong teams who can cause upsets,” Ponting added.
England will take on South Africa in the first match of the tournament at the Oval on May 30.