CWC 2019: Predicting where each team will finish in the points table


Indian and England are favorites to reach Semi Finals

After a hectic and extravagant Indian Premier League, the focus now shifts to the biggest tournament in a cricket calendar which is the ICC Cricket World Cup. England and Wales plays the host to the mega piece event after 20 years.

Although countries like Ireland, Scotland, and Zimbabwe have voiced their concerns over the reduction in the number of teams to 10, it is expected to be one of the most fiercely competed tournaments.

It is evident from the fact that there aren't any clear favourites going into the World Cup. The winner may come down to the team that plays the knock-outs well. Having said that let's predict where the teams will finish in the points table at the end of the league stage.

Sri Lanaka and Afghanistan

#10 Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has been in tatters since the 2015 World Cup. Angelo Mathews was expected to play the lead role, but injuries have kept him out of the game. It proves with the fact that he hasn't played an ODI since September 2018.

Going into the World Cup, they have appointed a new captain in Dimuth Karunaratne whose last representation in an ODI was in 2015. Players like Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, and Lasith Malinga are expected to deliver some goods for this struggling team.

#9 Afghanistan

If there is one side that has improved a lot since the previous World Cup, then it must be Afghanistan. They have given some of the brightest young talents in the limited overs format recently. Despite playing in England, spinners in Rashid Khan, Mohammed Nabi, and Mujeeb ur Rahman will play a huge role in the team's journey.

Their batting will be manned by the explosive duo of Mohammed Shahzad and Hazaratullah Zazai at the top. While the middle order will be governed by Asghar Afghan, Samiullah Shenwari and Rahmat Shah.

The announcement of Gulbadin Naib as captain has created few ripples in the squad but they are sure to throw many surprises.

Pakistan and West Indies

#8 Pakistan

In the lead up to the World Cup, Pakistan is the only country that has been playing ODI cricket. But results haven't gone their away as they haven't won a single game in the last two series. Imam ul Haq and Fakhar Zaman have been among runs in the last one year.

Pakistan will be banking on the experience of Shoaib Malik and Mohammed Hafeez to take their team to targets. There has been huge confusion over the selection of bowlers for the tournament. After being left out in provisional squad, Mohammed Amir has been included despite not playing much in between.

#7 West Indies

West Indies will be the dark horse in the 2019 cricket World Cup. Their squad boasts of match-winners who could win a match single-handedly. Jamaican Chris Gayle is the biggest of them all and has been in fine form in the recent series. Andre Russell is expected to draw a lot of attention whenever he comes out to bat.

Youngsters in Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer, and Evin Lewis will be their players to watch out for. Pace bowling department looks stronger as well in the presence of Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel, and Oshane Thomas.

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#6 Bangladesh

From creating upsets Bangladesh is now a huge force in world cricket. It is because of the contribution of Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Tamim Iqbal, and Mashrafe Mortaza. These four will again be pivotal to the chances of them.

They will also be hoping that Mahmudullah repeats his 2015 World Cup heroics. Apart from the captain, Mustafizur Rahman and Mehidy Hasan will be the hopefuls with the ball. As they are on the growing trend, it won't be a surprise if they finish in the top six.

#5 New Zealand

New Zealand has always punched above their weight in ICC tournaments. They have a great leader in Kane Williamson who is also their main batsman along with the experienced duo of Ross Taylor and Martin Guptill.

The all-rounders in James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, and Mitchell Santner are expected to play a huge role in the tournament. Their concern going into the tournament is the form of their fast bowlers.

South Africa and Australia

#4 South Africa

Unlike previous World Cups, South Africa goes to England without the favourites tag. That is because of their unsettled middle order. Their top-order is reliable with the services of Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla, and Faf du Plessis.

Jean-Paul Duminy and David Miller have to step-up for the Proteas. The wicket-taking prowess of Kagiso Rabada and Imran Tahir in IPL 2019 would boost Faf's side. With Dale Steyn firing his cylinders, South Africa might sneak into the final four.

#3 Australia

At the start of the year, Australia was in doldrums as they lost test and ODI series against India. But they came back strongly to beat India 3-2 in February. They went one step ahead to whitewash Pakistan 5-0 in the ODI series in UAE.

Australia has been bolstered by the addition of David Warner and Steve Smith. Bowling will be key to the progress of the Aussies. It will be interesting to see how Mitchell Starc and Nathan Coulter-Nile perform as they are coming back from injuries.

With recent form, we could see the Kangaroos in the semi-final line-up.

England and India

#2 India

India will be one of the biggest forces to reckon with. Their top-3 in Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, and Virat Kohli has been on a run-scoring spree in the last few years. In MS Dhoni have a mastermind finisher and a shrewd wicket-keeper.

Probably for the first time their bowlers are as strong as their batting. Jasprit Bumrah who has been rated as the world's best bowler might decide India's fortunes. The spin twins Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav have been on the wickets tally regularly.

If their middle order stands up, then they could easily finish in the second place.

#1 England

Going into the tournament, England has announced a squad which is one of the most balanced squads ever to have played in the World Cup. In Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy they have openers who dominate the bowlers from the word go.

The likes of Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, and Jos Buttler complete their potent batting line-up. Fast bowlers Chris Woakes and David Willey take the new ball while Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali are expected to control the middle overs with spin.

With home advantage in place, they are expected to top the table.