June 7, 2019 / 5:04 AM / 10 days ago

Cricket: No clear favourite at the World Cup, says Border

Cricket - ICC Cricket World Cup - Australia v West Indies - Trent Bridge, Nottingham, Britain - June 6, 2019 General view during the match Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers/Files

(Reuters) - No clear favourite has emerged to win the World Cup this year because the first few games have shown that all 10 teams are capable of beating each other at the tournament, former Australia skipper Allan Border has said.

Only New Zealand, Australia and India have not been beaten yet, with the latter two set to meet at the Oval on Sunday.

“There’s no obvious runaway-looking team at the moment,” Border wrote in a column for the International Cricket Council. “All the sides are basically showing they can beat each other. That’s the main thing that’s come out of these early games.

“I think that is how most of us expected it to be at this point, that there would be a lot of teams you expect to do well and then there would be a few surprise packages.”

Pakistan pulled off arguably the biggest upset so far when they beat hosts and tournament favourites England on Monday, a day after Bangladesh sprung a surprise by defeating South Africa.

Defending champions Australia beat Afghanistan comfortably in their first match but were pushed considerably harder in Thursday’s 15-run victory over West Indies.

Border, who captained Australia to World Cup glory in 1987, said the team had room for improvement and would have a clearer idea of their chances after facing 2011 champions India.

“India next up will be a big stumbling block,” he added. “That’s a tough hurdle for Australia but once they’ve played a couple of decent teams, they will have a better idea of where they are at with regards to the rest of the tournament.”

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Jennings

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