VVS Laxman said India are peaking at the right time ahead of the World Cup  |  Photo Credit: PTI
Several former cricketers have labelled India as one of the favourites to win the upcoming 2019 World Cup after Virat Kohli & Co’s incredible run in ODIs recently. The World Cup is around the corner and predictions have been flowing in with every passing day. The latest to join the bandwagon is former Indian cricketer VVS Laxman, who picked India and England as his two title favourites for the showpiece event in England and Wales.
While England are a formidable force in home conditions, India will head into the tournament on a confident note having defeated Australia and New Zealand in their own backyards in ODIs recently. The Men in Blue scripted history by beating Aussies 2-1 in the three-match ODI series before thumping the Kiwis 4-1 in a five-match ODI series to continue their stellar run in the fifty-over format ahead of the World Cup.
Laxman reckoned India’s recent performances have helped them peak at the right time which will further enhance their chances at the World Cup. “It’s all about peaking at the right time which is so important. The World Cup is a long format so every player should be at his best physically and mentally if India has to win the World Cup. They start as favourites. For me, India and England start as favourites,” he was quoted as saying by IANS.
India’s gruelling tour of Australia and New Zealand brought forth a lot of positives for the Men in Blue. Mohammed Shami shone brightly in the limited-overs format and produced match-winning performances in New Zealand to assure selectors of his abilities with the ball ahead of the World Cup. Ambati Rayudu further established his credentials at number 4 with his consistent performances.
Hardik Pandya made a string return to international cricket and impressed straightaway, MS Dhoni regained his lost touch and slammed three back to back fifties to win the Man of the Series in the ODI series against Australia. Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal also bowled brilliantly and Bhuvneshwar Kumar showed his brilliance on occasions with Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant also impressing in the middle-order.
Overall, it was a great series for India as they tested their squad with the World Cup in focus. Laxman hailed India’s performance against Australia and New Zealand and said it was great to see the bowling and batting departments come together.
“I think brilliant. The way they played, I would like to congratulate the entire team,” Laxman said.
“The way they played right from the Australia series to the New Zealand series… and it’s not only one or two players who have put their hand up. Everyone has contributed. So it’s great to see bowling and batting departments contribute,” he added.