‘England sitting just under India. Pakistan are…’: Kevin Pietersen dissects World Cup’s ‘favourites’ tag

Having clinched their eighth Asia Cup title, all eyes will be on India, who will be hosts for the upcoming ODI World Cup. India defeated Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup 2023 final, winning by 10 wickets in Colombo on Sunday. Initially, Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to bat, but their batting order crumbled to the might of Mohammed Siraj. The India pacer finished with record figures of 6/21 in seven overs as the home side were bowled out for 50 runs in 15.2 overs. Meanwhile, Hardik Pandya bagged three wickets for India’s bowling department.

Kevin Pietersen spoke about the World Cup’s ‘favourites’ tag.(Action Images via Reuters)

Chasing a target of 51 runs, India cruised to 51/0 in 6.1 overs. Openers Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill remained unbeaten for India, with knocks of 23* and 27* respectively.

The Asia Cup victory has further fuelled India’s tag as the ‘favourites’ to clinch their third World Cup trophy, but according to Kevin Pietersen, there could be other contenders too. The former England cricketer feels that South Africa’s win against Australia in their recent ODI series puts them as one of the contenders, along with Pat Cummins’ side.

Taking to Twitter, he wrote, “South Africa become contenders for the CWC after their win against Aus. Klaasen is the major asset. India favourites at home with Asia Cup win. Pakistan is always a threat. ALWAYS!”

Pietersen also feels that defending champions England are also the ‘favourites’ behind India. England are also the reigning T20 World Cup winners. He further added, “England sitting just under India, in terms of favourites tag. And Australia, well they’ll be there and thereabouts…”

The 2023 World Cup is scheduled to begin from October 5, and the final will take place on November 19. The final will be played at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Meanwhile, Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium and Kolkata’s Eden Gardens will host the two semi-finals. Meanwhile, India will face Australia in their campaign opener, on October 8 in Chennai.

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