With England, India and Australia appear to be favourites in the forthcoming ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, there is always a dark horse who can cause an upset. Four former Australian cricketers picked up New Zealand, the 2015 World Cup runners-up, and West Indies, two-time champions, as popular choices for the 50-over showpiece event. “West Indies. I just think they have got a little bit of confidence going on there at the moment. They have played pretty well in recent times,” cricket.com.au quoted Andrew Symonds, a member of the 2003 and 2007 World Cup winning squad, as saying. “And Chris Gayle will be itching to potentially go out on a winning note. The grounds will suit the way he plays. They are my dark horse,” Symonds said.
Allan Border, the 1987 World Cup winning captain, too backed the West Indies, calling the Caribbean side a very dangerous cricket team. “I look at the West Indies side and I think that’s a very dangerous cricket team. If they get some momentum going they could be very, very dangerous,” the legendary batsman said. “I know as the game gets shorter they get more dangerous, but I think the 50-over game suits them playing in England. I think their cricket is well-suited to that. Watch out for the West Indies,” Border added.
Mark Waugh, member of the 1999 World Cup winning team, picked New Zealand over the West Indies and South Africa. He said the 2015 World Cup runners-up can field and run between the wickets well. “Probably New Zealand. They were in the last World Cup final. They are probably going to rely on a few players like Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill and Trent Boult. But they always seem to play well. They field well, they are disciplined, they run between wickets well, they are always well-coached, always in for the fight,” Waugh said.
“I think they could make the semifinals. They are probably the dark horse. The West Indies probably have the batting but not the bowling to be a threat. South Africa, I suppose, they are going to rely on Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis and maybe Kagiso Rabada. They will be a threat but probably New Zealand will be a roughie,” he added. Squaring the votes between New Zealand and West Indies, Brett Lee, member of the 2003 World Cup winning squad, threw his weight behind the Kiwi side.
“The dark horse would be New Zealand, but Afghanistan will play some good cricket. They probably don’t have the batting that they would like but their bowling unit is outstanding,” Lee said. This year’s World Cup is set to run from May 30 to July 14 in the UK. England and South Africa will play in the curtain-raiser at the Oval in London.