Cricket legend Brian Lara has made his prediction about the upcoming ICC 2019 Cricket World Cup in England. The West Indian batting great sees India emerging as the winners of the 10-team event that begins on May 30.
In an interaction in Dubai, the former Windies captain described India as a side capable of winning in all conditions. "India is the favourite team. Their players are capable of playing well all around the world. 15 years ago, they were very strong at home. But now, they can succeed in all conditions," the man with the highest individual Test score said.
This prediction isn't very surprising but when Lara revealed his pick for the other finalist, it left a lot of people surprised. "I feel a repeat of ICC Champions Trophy 2017 final (India vs Pakistan) is likely. But this time, India are likely to emerge as winners," the prince of Trinidad contented.
His bullishness about Pakistan is born out of them having some special players. "I wasn't surprised when Pakistan won the 2017 Champions Trophy. As a team, they are inconsistent but they have players who can be match-winners," Lara added.
While there have doubts cast upon the India-Pakistan match scheduled for the first round, Lara likes the prospect of 2017 Champions Trophy final getting repeated in 2019. "I feel a repeat of the last Champions Trophy final will be wonderful to see," the Windies legend said.
Prospects for England
This prediction goes against what many other experts have prophesied. England has been the preferred choice as the favourites for most commentators. But Lara believes England's inexperience of winning big matches could come back to haunt them. "England in England are a tough side to beat. But they are also a side that knows how to lose big matches," the former West Indies captain asserted.
Apart from these predictions, the West Indies great also emphasized the importance of conditions in England. "A lot would depend on weather. English weather, you can never predict what it's going to be like."
Hopes for West Indies
He also showed some optimism regarding his own team, West Indies, and drew comparisons between the Pakistan side and the men from the Caribbean. "The West Indies team is very similar to Pakistan. They are inconsistent but on their day, can beat any opposition."
West Indies earned the right to be in the World Cup through a qualifying tournament. But in recent times, they have shown clear progress. The mega ODI event kicks off in England on May 30 and would conclude with the final on July 14.