Mumbai: With less than two months to go for the ICC World Cup and to safeguard the surprise elements of their team for the mega event, national cricket boards (apart from New Zealand) have kept the list of WC probables close to their chest. India is among one, as the team is yet to be announced.
But, the speculations are already ripe as to who will win the Cup. Four players, three former and one present (Mahela Jayawardene, Brian Lara, Kevin Pietersen and the current Indian vice-captain Rohit Sharma), made their assessments as to who will play a major role in England, during the launch of a website Cricket.com, which diversifies into sports content generation business.
While three speculated their respective countries’ move, Kevin Pietersen for a change became a weatherman and predicted that nature will play a vital role in the outcome of the championship which kicks off on May 31. “I am not a weatherman but this is what is in store for the teams who turn up for the World Cup in England,” said Pietersen, the former England player.
Summer in England has changed and it is very hot, and if one is prepared to face nature they should be the winners, said Peterson. So it was very clear, the wickets in England play a very vital role in the outcome of any match during the World Cup.
“There was a time in England during my playing days, if there was rain it was clear that it was a day off, but that has changed after subways system has in place at all the Test playing venues. Even if there is a storm, there is no need for the spectators to go back home as the system in every ground observes the moisture, and the play would resume.
But this has an impact on the wicket. Like it happened with India, there was a heavy downpour on the first day and play resumed after some time on the green surface, but it was not the case to be on Day-2 as the wicket was dry,” said Pietersen. And such conditions are like what it was last summer it would be good for sub-continent countries, and if not, England stand a good chance,” he said.
Mahela Jayawardene and Brian Lara were skeptical about their countries teams composition. While Jayawardene hoped that the selectors pick up the right team, Lara opined that West Indies, who have match winners in their ranks in Chris Gayle, Russell, Sunil Narine to name a few, could spring surprises.
Jayawardene though agreed that the team in recent times has been doing well, but at the end of the day, it is left to people concerned to have the final say and the delay in announcing the team for the World Cup. “It is alarming, there is time, let us hope there is some consistency and a good team is selected.”
Rohit Sharma was a silent listener and when his turn came to talk about the team, all he said was leave it to Virat Kohli, Ravi Shastri and selectors to do their job. However, Rohit also believes that for World Cup selection, the players should be judged on the basis of ‘performance and form’ in the last four years and not on how they perform during the IPL.
It all depends on an extra spinner, batsman or a seamer, and it is left to the skipper, coach, and selectors to take a call. It is given to understand that the India team for the World Cup is likely to be announced on Monday, April 8, according to BCCI sources.