Fri, 19 Jul 2019

Hales picks 3 main threats to England's CWC bid

26 Mar 2019, 22:13 GMT+10

Cape Town - England batsman Alex Hales admits they will be favourites to win the Cricket World Cup later this year but says India, Pakistan and Australia will provide tough opposition.

Hales is gearing up for a huge summer, with England's 50-over challenge being to handle the tag of favourites and lift their first global championship since the 2010 ICC World T20.

England were just as heavily favoured to go all the way in the 2017 Champions Trophy on home but bombed out to eventual winners Pakistan in the semi-final.

"England are the favourites and that is based on what we have achieved in the last four years, which has been fantastic," said Hales.

"That is why we are currently ranked the number one ODI team in the world. To not have lost a series in the last 10 ODI series shows that we are the in-form team.

"But as we saw in the last Champions Trophy, anything can happen when it comes to knockout cricket.

"Hopefully, if we play good cricket at the World Cup, we will get through to the knockout stages and then it's all about how we perform under-pressure in those games.

"Hopefully we've learnt from our past experiences and can go all the way."

Hales highlighted three of England's rivals as teams that will be tough to beat - even though the hosts will benefit from home advantage and friendly conditions.

"We all know that India are always a seriously strong team when it comes to World Cup tournaments,"added Hales.

"But with Pakistan, you never quite know what Pakistan you are going to get.

"If they turn up, on their day they are an unbelievable team, as we saw in the Champions Trophy, so nobody can rule them out.

"We also have Australia, who by winning the recent series in India showed that they shouldn't be written off, especially if they have all their pacemen available and with David Warner and Steve Smith back in their ranks.

"So, I would say that England, India, Pakistan and Australia are the four main teams in the running to lift the World Cup."

The Cricket World Cup starts on May 30 with hosts England taking on South Africa in the opening game to be played at the Oval.

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