England, India favourites: Yuvraj on World Cup


Yuvraj Singh, the Player of the Series in the 2011 edition, picked India and England as the two favourites for the upcoming 2019 World Cup, reports Reuters.

While speaking at a promotional event, the seasoned batsman also observed that Australia and West Indies could be in with a chance of putting up a good show. "My first two teams are England and India," said Yuvraj. 

"Obviously with [David] Warner and [Steven] Smith coming back [from their ball-tampering bans], Australia will be in contention. West Indies also look a very power-packed side. You can't say much at this stage. 

I think it would be India and England first, third would be Australia. Fourth I don't know. I will tell you later..."

The middle order batsman, who hasn't represented India since 2017, also backed Hardik Pandya to shine brightly in the World Cup. The power-packed all rounder, who alongside KL Rahul was suspended in January this year for their controversial comments in a talk show, has been in fine form in the ongoing IPL, having scored 373 runs and picking up 12 scalps.

"Definitely, the way he (Pandya) is batting at the moment, it is phenomenal and I hope he carries that form (into the World Cup). He has been bowling well in patches but as I said it is all about how you handle the pressure... I just hope that Hardik has an awesome tournament, the way he is batting at the moment."

Yuvraj also showered praises on the MI all rounder for the way he took on the KKR trio of of Sunil Narine, Andre Russell and Piyush Chawla and ended up with a sparkling 91 at Eden Gardens. "He got 91 from 34 balls against KKR, probably that is the best innings I have seen in the IPL just because he hit four quality bowlers he was batting against," Yuvraj added. "When you are doing that, you know that someone is batting very well."

The southpaw was pleased with the form of the current lot of Indian batsmen, but also threw in a word of caution by saying that ODI cricket demands a different tempo. "See you can't really compare T20 form with 50-overs. In T20 you don't have the time and you have to start going (from ball one) and hit fours and sixes, it's a different ball game," Yuvraj observed. "In 50 overs you have a lot of time (to get) set and start going, you can't really assess 20-overs form for 50 overs.

"MS [Dhoni] is in good form, Rohit [Sharma] is hitting ball well so are Virat [Kohli] and Shikhar [Dhawan]. If you look at it, 90 per cent of the guys they are in good form. (Talking about Kedar Jadhav) At No 6 you get less opportunity to show your form so I'm pretty happy with the way all the guys are playing."

India will start their World Cup campaign with a game versus South Africa on June 5.