Cricket World Cup Preview

The 12th edition of the Cricket World Cup takes place in England, and the hosts are firm favourites to win their first ever title.

Once again there is a new format with the participants reduced to ten nations – who will all play each other once, before the semi-finalists are decided.

We cast our eye over every nation ahead of the six-week long tournament, with odds provided by BetVictor and then a betting summary from Charlie McCann.


Best World Cup Finish: Group stages (2015)
Coach: Phil Simmons
Captain: Gulbadin Naib
Star Player: Rashid Khan
Squad: Gulbadin Naib, Mohammad Shahzad, Noor Ali Zadran, Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Aftab Alam, Hamid Hassan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Tournament odds: 100/1


Best World Cup Finish: Winners (2015, 2007, 2003, 1999, 1987)
Coach: Justin Langer
Captain: Aaron Finch
Star Player: David Warner
Squad: Aaron Finch, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa
Tournament odds: 7/2


Best World Cup Finish: Quarter-finalists (2015)
Coach: Steve Rhodes
Captain: Mashrafe Mortaza
Star Player: Tamim Iqbal
Squad: Mashrafe Mortaza, Abu Jayed, Liton Das, Mahmudullah, Mehidy Hasan, Mohammad Mithun (wicket-keeper), Mohammad Saifuddin, Mosaddek Hossain, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Shakib Al Hasan, Soumya Sarkar, Tamim Iqbal
Tournament odds: 80/1


Best World Cup Finish: Runners-up (1979, 1987, 1992)
Coach: Trevor Bayliss
Captain: Eoin Morgan
Star Player: Joe Root
Eoin Morgan, Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood
Tournament odds: 7/4


Best World Cup Finish: Winners (1983, 2011)
Coach: Ravi Shastri
Captain: Virat Kohli
Star Player: Virat Kohli
Squad: Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shikhar Dhawan, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul, Mohammed Shami, Vijay Shankar, Rohit Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav
Tournament odds: 3/1


Best World Cup Finish: Runners-up (2015)
Coach: Gary Stead
Captain: Kane Williamson
Star Player: Trent Boult
Squad: Kane Williamson, Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor
Tournament odds: 9/1


Best World Cup Finish: Winners (1992)
Coach: Mickey Arthur
Captain: Sarfaraz Ahmed
Star Player: Fakhar Zaman
Sarfaraz Ahmed, Asif Ali, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Wahab Riaz
Tournament odds: 14/1


Best World Cup Finish: Semi-finalists (2015, 2007, 1999, 1992)
Coach: Ottis Gibson
Captain: Faf du Plessis
Star Player: Quinton de Kock
Faf du Plessis, Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Chris Morris, Lungi Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Dale Steyn, Imran Tahir, Rassie van der Dussen
Tournament odds: 9/1


Best World Cup Finish: Winner (1996)
Coach: Chandika Hathurusingha
Captain: Dimuth Karunaratne
Star Player: Angelo Matthews
Dimuth Karunaratne, Avishka Fernando, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Jeevan Mendis, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Pradeep, Dhananjaya de Silva, Milinda Siriwardana, Lahiru Thirimanne, Isuru Udana, Jeffrey Vandersay
Tournament odds: 66/1


Best World Cup Finish: Winners (1975, 1979)
Coach: Floyd Reifer
Captain: Jason Holder
Star Player: Chris Gayle
Jason Holder, Fabian Allen, Carlos Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Shannon Gabriel, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Evin Lewis, Ashley Nurse, Nicholas Pooran, Kemar Roach, Andre Russell, Oshane Thomas
Tournament odds: 16/1

We spoke with BetVictor’s Charlie McCann ahead of the tournament for his expert opinion

India are a strong well-balanced side, but I can’t help but think they missed a trick in not selecting Rishabh Pant who should have made their 15-man squad instead of Dinesh Karthik.

Indeed, if India are asked to chase down 300+ I worry about their ability in the middle order especially with MS Dhoni taking an eternity to get going at this stage of his career. Pant is a rare talent although the said can be said about Hardik Pandya who must have a massive World Cup with bat and ball if BetVictor’s 3/1 second favourites are to prevail. Their lack of a world class number 4 might come back to haunt them however.

South Africa – 9/1 at BetVictor – don’t travel well enough and Hashim Amla is badly out of form. They are likely to be too dependent on skipper Faf du Plessis and wicketkeeper/batsman Quinton de Kock for runs and the same can be said of the excellent Kagiso Rabada and Imran Tahir with the ball. It pains me to say it, but this may be one major tournament too far for the Proteas great quick bowler Dale Steyn.

I’ve never been a great fan of Australian skipper Aaron Finch, but I think the Baggy Greens will exorcise the demons of their 2018 annus horribilis and “Sandpapergate” and at 4/1 they are taken to lift the Trophy at Lords on July 14th.

England did beat Australia 4-1 in 2018 in Australia but that was a very tight series and I believe the Baggy Greens are the forgotten side of the tournament. I expect them to improve markedly over the six weeks.

Their batting and quick bowling is much vaunted, but Nathan Lyon is the best finger spinner in the tournament and leg spinner Adam Zampa is a potential matchwinner who is improving with experience of the big stage. Let’s not forget that Australia came from two-nil down to beat India in their back yard best-of-five series earlier in the year.

England are worthy favourites but 15/8 is far too short. My final four are England, Australia, India and Sri Lanka – after that who knows?

But my antepost recommendation is Australia at 4/1 with BetVictor.

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