World Cup 2019: McGrath backs Australia's arch-rivals England as favourites for title

Sudhir Gupta 20:42 27/05/2019
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England are McGrath's favourites for the World Cup.

Australia bowling legend Glenn McGrath has picked hosts England as his team to beat in the upcoming 2019 ICC World Cup.

McGrath, who played in four World Cup editions while winning three of them with Australia, believes No1 ranked England and India are the two standouts teams for the upcoming 2019 edition.

“England, a very good one-day unit,” McGrath told ESPNcricinfo in an interview when asked to name his favourites.

“To me they are the favourites going into this World Cup, so I think they’ll do very well. You’ve got to go on current form. The England team – the way they go about it, they have impressed me.

“They have scored some big, big totals. Most teams used to go hard in the first 15 and the last 15, and consolidate in the middle. But teams like England, India are just going hard the whole 50 overs, and that’s the impact T20 cricket has had.”

McGrath won three World Cup titles with Australia.

McGrath won three World Cup titles with Australia.

McGrath has backed Australia to do well in the World Cup as well following their recent ODI resurgence. After a disastrous 2018, Australia had bounced back strongly with eight straight wins over the likes of India and Pakistan in Asia before arriving at England for the World Cup.

“The two standouts to me were India and England, with fingers crossed, Australia doing well. South Africa are always a good team, West Indies are bit of a dark horse – they can play really well or badly, probably similar to Pakistan. England and India are tough to beat, but with Australia’s form, I think we’ll see them make the final,” he stated.

“I was a little bit concerned how Australia were going to go, but their form of late has really impressed me. They’ve performed really well in conditions that are not suited to them, so that bodes well for their chances. I’d like to think that they’ll make the finals.

“India are a quality one-day unit as well. They’ll be in the running.”

The 2019 ICC World Cup gets underway on May 30 with hosts England taking on South Africa in the tournament opener at The Oval, London.

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