Former Pakistan cricketer Mohammad Yousuf feels that Sarfraz Ahmed-led side are favourites to win ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in England. The former Pakistan skipper backs the team on the basis of their title-winning performance in ICC Champions Trophy 2017 hosted by England. Pakistan were underdogs in the Champions Trophy but made a commendable comeback to clinch the title from India in the final.
Yousuf gave reasons for declaring Pakistan as favourites to win World Cup for the second time in an interview with Pak Passion,
“I think Pakistan are the favourites. I say that because I feel they have the best bowling attack, particularly on flat tracks. When I say best, I mean they have the best-balanced attack. An attack which can take wickets regularly and not let the opposition settle,”
“Another key factor is that Pakistan will not be relying on part-time bowlers, they have six or seven genuine bowlers in the team and that is something that not many of the teams participating at the World Cup will have at their disposal. On the sort of flat tracks that will be available in England at that time, the team with the best bowling attack will succeed. I believe that bowling attack belongs to Pakistan,” he elaborated.
In the final of Champions Trophy, India were bundled out for 158 chasing a target of 339. Star players Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni failed to put up a fight against the Pakistani bowling attack.
“India has a wonderful array of batting talent, but I think there are some doubts over their bowlers, particularly their pace bowlers as was evident in the recent one-day series against England.”
However, Pakistan’s ODI record has not been great this year. They were whitewashed by New Zealand in the five-match ODI series. Despite white-washing Zimbabwe in the next ODI series, Pakistan face a huge challenge as far as their batting department is concerned against bowling lineups like South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. Yousuf’s comments attracted a few reactions on Twitter:
Zimbambey se jeete hai..Aur inko world cup nazar ane laga..lol
— Gaurav Awasthi (@GauravA69935057) August 9, 2018
— हेमन्त मिश्र (@ihemant_mishra) August 9, 2018
Someone tell him that Zimbabwe will not be playing the world cup
— Rahul Acharya (@Rahul_270981) August 9, 2018
— CookieCutter (@Prez22) August 9, 2018
Reallyy!!!! After playing against Zimbabwe pic.twitter.com/CrueJd1d86
— Mr.Anonymous (@MrAnony47098926) August 9, 2018
अब ये विश्वकप जीतने लगे?? pic.twitter.com/pYqPWWajzg
— प्रतीक सिंह (@Prateek22069004) August 9, 2018
He has clearly lost his Misplaced mind … I guess he is getting such hallucinations
— Deepak (@deepakap0630) August 9, 2018
World cup is not in the format of CT
Robin round is there to ensure that Pak won’t make it to semi’s
But if they do they are the favorites
— anoop (@anoopb200) August 9, 2018
Pakistan is not favourite to lift the trophy. They will dwell again on their surprise factor.
— Razi Khan Jadoon (@neurodemagogue) August 9, 2018
Kevin’0 brian has touted Ireland as favourites for next year’s cup kuch bhi mtlb
— Abhishek Singh (@Abhi_abhi_) August 9, 2018
The 43-year-old also named two sides who have a chance at lifting the World Cup 2019. He said,
“Coming to the hosts, I feel that England will have home advantage and they are looking formidable at the moment in one-day cricket, and they will be a force at the World Cup. The only other team that may stand an outside chance is Australia but they really need to get all of their main players back from bans, from injuries and then firing on all cylinders.”