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Cricket World Cup 2019: 500 on the board, sandpaper in the stands and other things we expect to see

By Opta

London, May 28: The 2019 Cricket World Cup is nearly here. Nearly.

This year's tournament features just the 10 teams (who said less is more, huh?) in a format where everyone nicely gets to play everyone else before the top four progress through to the knockout stages.

CWC 2019 Special Site | Full Schedule

So, what can we expect to happen over the course of the next six weeks? Well, it's almost certain to rain at some stage, considering it is taking place in England and Wales.

While the winner remains a mystery for now, Omnisport has taken out our crystal ball, polished it up on one side and hit the pitch hard to come up with some scenarios we expect to see unfold at #CWC19. DISCLAIMER: They may not actually happen.

Australia in spectators' sights

Touring Australia squads expect to be the targets in England, with local crowds never slow to offer a word or two to the visitors. Sometimes they even get together in unison in the form of a light-hearted yet mocking song.

However, Steve Smith and David Warner may as well draw bullseyes on the back of their shirts for the next few months. The pair’s involvement in the ball-tampering scandal cost them a year of their international careers and while they have been accepted back into Australia's squad, others will not be so forgiving when it comes to overlooking past misdemeanours.

Expect to see plenty of signs about sandpaper in the stands, though Smith and Warner may be spared the worst of it until the Ashes series that follows on after the World Cup.

Imran Tahir to go the distance when celebrating

You have heard the saying, 'act like you've been there before', right? The idea is that when you have success, be humble about it.

Well, Tahir is clearly not a big believer in showing such modesty when taking a wicket. The South Africa leg-spinner is never afraid to mark a breakthrough by stretching his legs, often setting off on solo runs around the outfield with little regard for team-mates or the match situation.

He may be a slow bowler, but there is nothing sedate about Tahir's over-the-top celebrations. Expect him to clock up the miles if the Proteas do well.

Mankad in the making

Ravichandran Ashwin's 'Mankad' of Jos Buttler during the Indian Premier League opened the debate again about whether such a method of dismissal is considered acceptable ("It's just not cricket"... except it actually is).

It had happened before to Buttler in international action, against Sri Lanka in an ODI in 2014, and considering how hard wickets are to come by in the 50-over format these days, teams may well be watching the non-striker's end with more interest than was previously the case.

Be careful, batsmen; stay within your territory or risk paying the consequences. There will be no sympathy for anyone caught jumping the gun when it comes to running between the wickets.

500 up!

Bat dominates ball to such an extent in the one-day game that it feels only a matter of time before a team breaks through the 500-run barrier.

England hold the current ODI record score at 481-6, set at Trent Bridge in 2018 against Australia. They also smacked 444-3 at the same venue against Pakistan three years ago, as a flat track and short boundaries in Nottingham - a city forever linked with Robin Hood - robs from the bowlers and gives to the scoreboard.

So, in summary, Trent Bridge looks the likely venue to see 500 posted. England play there just once, though, taking on Pakistan on June 3.

Chris Gayle to take his time

You do not rush the 'Universe Boss'. The West Indies opener announced back in February that he will retire from one-day international duty after the tournament, allowing him a long, long goodbye on English soil.

Gayle is one of the cleanest hitters in cricket, yet often takes his time to get going before a boundary blitz.

The left-hander is also not one for quick singles, but spectators should soak up every opportunity they get to see him bat for West Indies before he gets back on the Twenty20 treadmill.

And finally... England to fall short again

Eoin Morgan's squad are rightly considered favourites - they are ranked the number one side in the world in the format and have the benefit of home advantage.

After a disastrous campaign Down Under last time, they changed their approach and set new standards, mainly when it comes to scoring runs. They have a long, powerful batting line-up and have depth in the seam-bowling department, aided by Jofra Archer's introduction.

And yet this is England at a World Cup (see: football, association).

They have lost three finals, in 1979, 1987 and 1992, when fancied to lift the trophy, while injuries in the build-up this time around have not helped preparations. The pressure is on to produce, yet their fans will have a nagging fear they will come up short again. It's not pessimism - it's what is known as being an Englishman.

ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 Predictions
Match 33 - June 26 2019, 03:00 PM
New Zealand
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Story first published: Tuesday, May 28, 2019, 13:00 [IST]
Other articles published on May 28, 2019
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