Former Indian cricket team captain and India-A coach Rahul Dravid asserted that the Virat Kohli-led Men in Blue is amongst the favourites for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, which will commence from May 30 in England and Wales.
“I think India are playing very good cricket at the moment and go in as one of the favourites. Hopefully, we will peak in the next few months,” Dravid was quoted as saying by the ICC’s website.
Dravid, who is also India’s Under-19 coach, said England have batting-friendly wickets which could make it a high-scoring event.
“Wickets will be very flat in England and I expect it to be quite a high-scoring World Cup. When we (India-A) were in England with the A team, 300 was regularly scored,” Dravid said.
“A lot more runs will be scored compared to the 1999 World Cup, where we used the Dukes white ball. The white Kookaburra with two new balls, revised field restrictions (three Powerplays as opposed to the mandatory 15-over restrictions in 1999) are different, so you can’t compare the two World Cups,” he added.
The 12th edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 is set to begin in the summers and will be hosted by England and Wales. The schedule for the sporting extravaganza is out and it will take place from 30 May to 14th July 2019.
Hosts England will open the tournament at The Oval on 30 May, when they will take to the field against South Africa.
India, the 1983 and 2011 world champions will kick start their campaign on 5 June against South Africa at the Hampshire Bowl in Southampton. The much-anticipated match against arch-rivals Pakistan will be at Old Trafford in Manchester on 16 June. While Australia will commence their campaign against Afghanistan in a day/night match in Bristol.
Pakistan will play their first match against two-time champions the Windies at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on 31 May.
According to the ICC schedule, Old Trafford in Manchester and Edgbaston in Birmingham will stage the two semi-finals on 9 and 11 July, while Lord’s will play host to a World Cup final for the fifth time, on 14 July. All these three matches will have reserve days.
Eleven world-class venues will be used in the 46-day tournament in which each side will play the other once in a single-league format with the top four sides after 45 matches progressing to the semi-finals.
(With Inputs from IANS)