As the clock ticks away towards the most-awaited cricketing carnival on the planet, the participating teams and their myriad fans have their first task resolved. With the majority of the sides announcing their 15-member squads for World Cup 2019, cricketing pundits are busy analysing the strengths and chances of each team.
The selection panels of the teams announced their respective squads after taking several factors into consideration. Here is a look at the squads of the first eight teams that qualified directly to the World Cup.
Teams participating in World Cup 2019:
India, England, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, West Indies and Afghanistan*.
*It should be noted that Afghanistan and the West Indies had to play the qualifiers to make the cut.
To be led by Virat Kohli, Team India will be entering the fray as one of the favourites to regain the title in 2019. With MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Jasprit Bumrah, and Hardik Pandya among the mix, the men in blue are certainly not devoid of match winners.
Budding all-rounder Vijay Shankar was a notable name among the 15-member squad and so was veteran cricketer Dinesh Karthik. While the omissions of Ambati Rayudu and Rishabh Pant have not gone down well with many experts and fans, chief selector MSK Prasad exuded confidence that they had selected a well-balanced squad for the coveted trophy.
Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni (WK), Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah
After being down and out for most of the season last year, Aaron Finch and his troops have scripted a brilliant comeback in ODI cricket in 2019. They humbled India and Pakistan in succession, and the men from Down Under now have their eyes set on defending their trophy.
Crowned as the world champions for the fifth time in 2015, Australia will be looking to script history yet again in the upcoming championship. While the exclusions of Peter Handscomb and Josh Hazlewood did raise a few eyebrows, the return of champion cricketers David Warner and Steven Smith seems to have added a whole new zest to the squad.
Aaron Finch (C), Usman Khawaja, David Warner, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Shaun Marsh, Alex Carey (WK), Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Adam Zampa, Jason Behrendorff, Jhye Richardson, Nathan Lyon