'India And England Start As Favourites To Win ICC World Cup 2019': VVS Laxman

| February 14 , 2019 , 17:57 IST

Former India batsman VVS Laxman on Wednesday revealed that India and England will start as favourites to win the forthcoming ICC World Cup to be played in England and Wales.        

He also told that Virat Kohli and Co. are peaking at the right time after their historic ODI series triumphs in Australia and New Zealand.

Speaking to media the 44-year-old player said, "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."

It is learnt that the World Cup kicks off in England from May 30 with India taking on South Africa in their opening game on June 5 in Southampton.

The Indian team edged Australia 2-1 in the three-match series and then went on to thump New Zealand by a healthy margin of 4-1 in the 50-over format.

India will now take on Australia at home in five ODIs and two T20s starting February 24.

"I think brilliant. The way they played, I would like to congratulate the entire team," Laxman said.

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"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.

Talking about the Bengal team which failed to make the final at home last season after finishing third in the Super League Group B of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Laxman said, "The preparation has been really good. We had a lot of match simulation. In T20 cricket, better than nets is match simulation. It has been a very realistic practice. We played a couple of games too."

The 2011 champions Bengal open their domestic T20 campaign against Mizoram in their group D fixture at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack on February 21.

Laxman was part of a three-day camp which took place at the Eden Gardens and concluded at the Jadavpur University Campus ground here on Wednesday.

Laxman, who has been with the team led by Manoj Tiwary since 2014, said he was disappointed with Bengal failing to qualify for the knock-out stages of the Ranji Trophy, adding the team has the potential to win the tournament,

"I am disappointed that they did not qualify but the potential of the side is to go on and win the Ranji Trophy," he said.