High quality rivals competing in a Round Robin format has made the upcoming World Cup the "most challenging" for India skipper Virat Kohli, who says maintaining intensity from the first ball will be key to his side's fortunes in the showpiece event, starting May 30.
Kohli, who has competed in three World Cups before, said they do not have much breathing space because they have four tough games upfront and in a way it should help them.
For the first time since the 1992 edition, all teams will play each other once to decide the semi-finalists. After opening their campaign South Africa on June 5, India will take on Australia (June 9), New Zealand (June 13) and Pakistan (June 16).
"“Personally, it will probably be the most challenging World Cup I have been part of because of the format and also the strength of all the teams. If you look at Afghanistan from 2015 to now, they are a completely different side.”" - Virat Kohli
"Playing everyone once is great for all the teams in my view. It is going to be a different challenge and every team will have to adapt quickly to," added Kohli.
"“Any team can upset anyone. That is one thing we have in mind. Focus will be on to play the best cricket that we can. You have to play to the best of your potential in every game because it is not a group stage situation.”" - Virat Kohli
Shastri also reiterated that it would be the most challenging World Cup considering the quality of the opposition teams and the change in format.
"“It will be very challenging. If you look at 2014 and 2019 now, the gap has become closer between the teams. You see what Afghanistan, Bangladesh were in 2014 and what they are now, so it is a strong competition. West Indies, on paper, is as strong as any other team.”" - Virat Kohli . Read more on ICC World Cup 2019 by The Quint.RSS & BJP’s Nehru-Netaji ‘Cosplay’: Irony Dies a Thousand DeathsTop Entertainment News: New Trailer for Modi Biopic Out . Read more on ICC World Cup 2019 by The Quint.