India go into the World Cup with the tag of favourites and many pundits have picked them as one of the semi-finalists. Former New Zealand cricketer Brendon McCullum predicted the result of each match of the World Cup where he said India and England will finish on top of the table with 8 wins and 1 loss each.
However, former Australia opener Mark Waugh was not too sure about India making it to the semis and pointed out a number of problematic areas for Virat Kohli and company.
"Good summary. IMO I think England and Aust certain semi finalists. India not so sure but probably sneak in. Preparation a little suspect and batting lineup uncertain in the middle order. Big reliance on Kohli and Bumrah. NZ slightly ahead of WI and Sth Africa for 4th," Waugh wrote on Twitter as a reply to Brendon McCullum's post.
India begin their campaign against South Africa
India will begin their campaign against South Africa. After tasting defeat in their first warm-up match against New Zealand, India found form in the clash against Bangladesh where KL Rahul and MS Dhoni struck hundreds. Also, Bumrah and wrist-spinners were on top of their game.
"It's going to be challenging, but the good thing that there's a decent gap between every game. Players won't be burnt out. We'll always have time to regroup. We have four tough games straight up and that will set the tone for us. We don't have any room for complacency, and that's why it's the World Cup. You have to arrive on the day, match-ready. This is the challenge," captain Kohli had said before the Indian team departed for England.
The form of KL Rahul was one of the biggest positives for India as his century in the warm-up clash against Bangladesh ensured that he will walk out to bat at the contentious number 4 position. Also, MS Dhoni was at his best in the match and his form is a massive shot in arm for Kohli and company.
"The biggest positive from today was the way KL (Rahul) batted at number 4, everyone else knows their roles. It is important that he gets the runs and he is such a class player." Kohli said at the end of the warm-up win against Bangladesh.