Bengaluru, May 21: Since the ICC Cricket World Cup arrives every four years, it generates more excitement and interest around it, besides for the simple reason that it will bring togther the globe's best cricketing talents.
The World Cup also creates a buzz around predicting the favourites and the dark horses and the underdogs and this time, the names of three countries that are doing the rounds as the favourites are England, India and Australia necessarily in that order.
While England and India have been in great forms since the end of the last World Cup (both have won over 50 games in this time), Australia have regained their touch of late and since they are the most successful team in the World Cup and also are the reigning champions, nobody is really writing them off.
On the top of it, the return of players like David Warner and Steve Smith is expected to boost their prospects in the showpiece event.
However, one team which can be called the dark horse in this World Cup is the West Indies. The two-time champions had to play even the qualifying rounds to make the cut for this World Cup.
They joined the fray as the 10th team after finishing as the runners-up in the qualifier, losing to Afghanistan. For the last several World Cups, the Caribbeans have remained more travellers than serious contenders and the perception was not too different till they played England at home recently.
While the series against England effected some changes in the perception about the Caribbeans as a team, the recently concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) showed how much capable are the West Indian players as individuals.
The likes of Andre Russell, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Nicholas Pooran and others could burn any opposition on their day and the West Indian supporters will earnestly pray that their favourite team changes things around in 2019. The West Indies had made their last World Cup semifinal in 1996 and in the last four years, they have won the least number of games among all the participating nations.
But the presence of some brilliant individuals who just showcased their talents at home and in the IPL certainly neutralises the disappointing history and makes the West Indies the dark horses of this World Cup.