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The top-3 favorite teams for ICC World Cup 2023

India, England & Australia: The favorites going into ICC Cricket World Cup 2023

India to host ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023; Fans enjoying cricket_ Walking wicket (Images_ ©ICC_Twitter)
ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 Trophy (Images: ©ICC/Twitter)

The ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 is all set to commence in about two weeks of time, with defending champions England taking on runner-up New Zealand in the opening match at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.


The stage is all set for a great spectacle with 10 teams squaring off each other, in what is expected to be a highly competitive tournament.


At the start of every tournament, there are teams which are considered to be the favorites or touted as winners. Here we are listing the three favorites who are likely to win the absolute biggest prize in 50-over cricket.

Asia Cup 2023, Sri Lanka vs India_ India beat Sri Lanka by 41 runs; move to Asia Cup final _ Walking wicket (Images_ ©BCCI_Twitter)
India looks a strong after winning Asia Cup and series against Aus (Images: ©BCCI/Twitter)
Team India

India will be the favorites, and one of the most likely to go the distance in World Cup 2023. Living up to the tag, India have been playing consistently well in the lead up to the tournament despite some injuries to their key players and not necessarily playing with their full strength all the time.


Yet, India are in a strong position to reclaim the World cup for the third time and the first since their triumph in the 2011 edition. The team under the leadership of Rohit Sharma finally ended their multi-team tournament winless drought by capturing the Asia Cup for the eighth time, and this should give them a truck load of confidence in the lead up to the World Cup.


The Men in Blue defeated the current World No.1 ODI team and arch-rivals Pakistan rather comprehensively, and this can be a morale booster for the team. India completely outplayed the opposition in most of the occasions in Asia Cup 2023, which was also played in the 50-over format, and this augurs well for the World Cup hosts.



Possible Weakness of India

India have most of the bases covered, however there are some injury concerns which remain in the form of Shreyas Iyer who hasn’t had any game time going into the World cup. He was billed as India’s No.4 batter for Asia Cup, but his injury delayed his return to the field. After smashing 97-ball 104 against Australia in Indore, India could be at little ease with Iyer's form. Some other concerns are the prolonged lower order tail, along with Ravindra Jadeja’s poor form with the willow in the recent past.


This could cause India trouble in close games when there is a need for contributions from the lower middle-order. Injury to Axar Patel also came at a bad time and the team is exploring the possibility of including the more experienced Ravichandran Ashwin in his place.


But overall, India looks like a tough team to beat on paper and with the added advantage of home conditions they will be a difficult nut to crack in the tournament.


India 2023 World Cup Squad: Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel*, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Suryakumar Yadav


*Axar Patel availability subject to his recovery from injury.


ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022, Final, England vs Pakistan_ England win the T20 World Cup 2022; beat Pakistan in final _ Walking Wicket (Source: ©ICC/Twitter)
England won the T20 World Cup 2022 (Source: ©ICC/Twitter)
England

England are the defending champions for this edition and will be one of the favorites going into the tournament. They also stand a chance to become only the third team, after West Indies and Australia, to successfully defend the title. England will be led by Jos Buttler and they have a power packed line-up all through the way.


All their batters have been in tremendous form as is evident from their recent 3-1 win over the visiting New Zealand team. The likes of Dawid Malan and Liam Livingstone were amongst the runs while Buttler, Bairstow looked at ease. But the main positive for the team has to be the return of Ben Stokes to the ODI format.


The left-hander who made a comeback after retiring from the format last year made the highest-ever ODI score for an English batter (182) in the series against the Kiwis, stamping his authority.


Apart from the top order, England’s strength lies in their variety in both the departments. They have batters who can bowl and their bowlers coming down the order can hit the ball hard and long. Overall, England looks a complete side with guys like Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Adil Rashid, Sam Curran, and David Willey.



Possible Weakness of England

England’s premier batter Joe Root has not been among runs in the ODI format as could only collect 39 runs from the 4 innings played in 2023. This might be a cause of concern for England but Root is a world class cricketer and is just probably an innings or two away from getting his touch back. Also they had to make the hard decision of dropping injury-prone Jason Roy from the squad and have went ahead with adding Harry Brook in the team.


Earlier, the English opening pair looked a little unstable - but with the presence of Malan along with Bairstow, that issue seems to have been sorted for the moment.


England’s 2023 Cricket World Cup squad: Jos Buttler (C), Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Harry Brook, Liam Livingstone, Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood, Reece Topley, Chris Woakes, Gus Atkinson, David Willey, Sam Curran.


India vs Australia, 1st ODI_ David Warner-Steven Smith added 94-run for 2nd wicket against India; IND beat AUS _ Walking wicket (Images_ ©BCCI)
Australia look a very dangerous side on paper (Images: ©BCCI)
Australia

Australia are five-time World champions and if one side knows how to win major tournaments in cricket, that’s the Aussies. The Kangaroos usually peak whenever they are playing an ICC tournament and by the looks of it, this year won’t be any different.


Like England, Australia bat long and all they have plenty of all-rounders which is a must in ODI cricket. Top-order looks really strong on paper with the presence of David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Marnus who all have been in good form with the white ball.


Their batting will be further bolstered by Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell making the long-awaited return to the side to join the likes of Marcus Stoinis and Alex Carey in the middle-order. Bowling looks packed with skipper Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood handling the pace department and Adam Zampa being the specialist spinner in the side.



Possible Weakness of Australia

In the recent series against South Africa which Australia lost 3-2, the in-form Travis Head got injured which effectively ruled him out of the World Cup. Labuschagne is likely to replace him after a good showing. Also, some of their senior stars like Smith, Maxwell and Cummins don’t have enough ODI game time.


The upcoming series against India would be an ideal dress rehearsal for them before the World Cup.


Australia World Cup 2023 squad: Pat Cummins (c), Alex Carey (wk), Josh Inglis (wk), Travis Head*, Mitchell Marsh, David Warner, Steve Smith, Adam Zampa, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Sean Abbott, Cam Green, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Agar


*Travis Head replacement to be announced


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