Former Australia batsman Simon Katich believes that having the ICC World Cup 2019 in England will “add a different dimension” to the tournament that gets underway on May 30.
England is set to host the premier event after 20 years, having last done so in 1999, when Australia beat Pakistan in the final at Lord's. Conditions in England have changed drastically since then, with surfaces having become more batting-friendly.
Since the 2015 World Cup, matches played in England have had an average of nearly six runs scored an over, which translates to a total of 300 in 50 overs. However, Katich believes that the weather could play a significant role in determining if that might necessarily be the case at CWC 2019.
“I think it will be a great World Cup. Having it in England will add a different dimension,” he told Hindustan Times. “I think conditions are going to play a big part, given that it is June-July. If it is a hot and dry summer like last year, then some Indian spinners and those from other teams will get a look in.”
Katich went on to pick England and India as two of his favourites to win the tournament. England are ranked No.1 on the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings and possess the deepest batting line-up in world cricket today, thanks to an endless line of all-rounders in their XI.
India have among the most formidable top-orders in ODIs, and have two potential threats with the ball in the form of wrist-spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. In the fast-bowling department, they will be headed by Jasprit Bumrah, the top-ranked bowler in the world in ODIs.
However, Katich also warned against ruling out Australia. The five-time champions have raised their game before the event, recording a famous series win in India, where they bounced back from a 0-2 deficit to win 3-2, and then followed it up with a 5-0 sweep against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.