England

As favorites go one would be hard pressed to find a more suitable representation of the word than the hosts England. The hosts’ are currently number one in the ICC rankings and most of their players have done well in this year’s IPL. England is known for favoring their home conditions as well and everything is seemingly pointing to at least a semifinal berth for the three lions. Look out for Jos Butler and Johnny Bairstow; these two have the potential to pound any bowling attack on their day. Their bowling attack is where questions may be asked but once again in home conditions they should have the upper hand against most teams in the tournament. Going into the tournament as favorites can often bring its own pressures and the English side will have to deal with the pressure of that tag as well as the expectation of the home nation to bring home their first ICC World Cup trophy.

Australia

The Ozzies can never be written off when it comes to the World Cup as they are the most decorated side at the tournament, winning the cup on five different occasions. And with big name players coming back from suspension such as Dave Warner and Steve Smith they could be a force to be reckoned with. Their recent form is great as well as they came from behind against India to win a series then wet on to beat Pakistan convincingly in their backyard as well it would seem then that the Australian side is peaking just at the right time for them. Australia in my view are heavy favorites as well to lift the cup and have shown they have what it takes as they currently hold the cup.

New Zealand

The Black Caps have been close on a few occasions to lifting the trophy but have never been able to get over the line in a World Cup. They came the closest in the last tournament 4 years ago when they jointly hosted the tournament but they came up short again and I think there will be more of the same in this year’s tournament. While they have the batsmen to compete with anyone one their day, I believe their bowling attack lacks a real penetrating force up front and this could be their downfall. Look for their captain Kane Williamson to step up for them as well as Martin Guptill who on his day can destroy bowling attacks in double quick time. The bowling unit will be led by Tim Southee and he will need every bit of his experience to help his captain to restrict teams and to take wickets. I don’t see the New Zealand team winning the tournament but I wouldn’t write them off either. New Zealand is a bit like South Africa in that they have the ability to win it all but no one really believes they will.

Pakistan

The Pakistani team is the dark horse of the tournament for me, they boast one of the best opening partnerships in world cricket and with some powerful players down the order they can damage any attack. Their captain Safraz Ahmed is perhaps their most vital player other than the opening pair of Fakhar Zaman and Imam Ul-Haq. The captain brings experience and the ability to asses a situation very quickly both with bat in hand and in the field. He will be massively important for them as they seem to feed off him at times. Their bowl attack is not much to write home about but with conditions maybe favoring swing bowling in England they could do well. They are all that awkward pace 130 to 140 kmph that on a wicket that’s doing a bit could be difficult to face. It all depends which Pakistani side pitches up because they have a horrible habit not performing when they should and then showing up when they themselves are dead and buried in the tournament and spoiling it for someone else. If they can find some consistency early in the tournament they could be one to watch out for.

Overall I see this as fight between England and India in the final. Both sides are so well put together with both bat and ball that I think they will have more than enough to beat any team. Ultimately I think India will lift the trophy for their third time I just think with Virat Kohli leading the Indian team they can’t go wrong and will go all the way.