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ICC World Cup 2019: 3 Potential Dark Horses in the Tournament 

Deepak Panda
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
2.64K   //    12 Feb 2019, 05:51 IST

The world cup is less than four months away, with most teams seem well settled while some are trying to fix a few slots here and there. Only a single or a couple of ODI series are left for the teams before the tournament begins and no doubt, the teams for the world cup look more or less predictable at this point of time.

Going by recent form and strength on paper, England and India start the tournament as outright favourites. The consistency and dominance they have shown in the past couple of years is unmatched by any other team in the world in the given period. At the same time, there have been a few teams, who have not been tagged as favourites yet, but have impressed one and all in patches, and might spring in a few surprises at the world cup.

Here we look at 3 such teams who might prove to be the dark horses in the upcoming world cup:

Afghanistan

One of the most promising sides in recent times, Afghanistan are the real dark horses for the world cup
One of the most promising sides in recent times, Afghanistan are the real dark horses for the world cup

The least experienced team among the teams participating in the 2019 world cup, Afghanistan have risen as rapidly as anyone can imagine. Having many of their players excelling in T20 leagues around the globe, the Afghans will not be an easy challenge for the giants, as evident from the Asia Cup, where they actually deserved to be in the finals.

Having won 12 of their 20 ODIs in 2018, Afghanistan were the fourth most successful side in 2018. And that includes wins against Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, West Indies, a tie against India and two last over finishes against Bangladesh and Pakistan.

With Rashid Khan and Mujeeb, they have one of the most potent spin attacks in the tournament. Also their batting is in solid form, with Rahmat Shah, Afghan Asghar and Mohammad Nabi being amongst the runs all through the year. Going into the world cup, the never say die attitude of the Afghans will hold them in good stead.

It would not be a surprise if they beat a few non-subcontinent teams as well as the likes of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The fact that English conditions do not assist swing as much as they used to, minimizes the little weakness in their batting. A top 6 finish is well on the cards for the Afghans, who will be playing their second ever world cup, provided their spinners live up to the expectations and the team hold their nerve during crunch situations.

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Deepak Panda
ANALYST
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