The anticipation for the ODI World Cup 2023 is building up as the tournament is set to kick off on October 5 in India. Cricket fans and experts are eagerly sharing their predictions and favorites for the global cricketing extravaganza.

In the lead-up to the multi-nation event, teams have been engaging in warm-up matches to fine-tune their team combinations, strategies, and game plans. These practice games are essential for teams to assess their strengths and weaknesses before entering the highly competitive tournament.

Following the trend, former India cricketers Sunil Gavaskar and Irfan Pathan have also revealed their favourite sides for the upcoming global showpiece event.

Gavaskar backs England’s title defense

Gavaskar, has picked defending champions England as his favorite to lift the coveted trophy once again. The Indian cricket legend believed that England possess a formidable squad, especially at the top of the batting order. He highlighted the presence of two or three world-class all-rounders in the team who can be game-changers with both bat and ball. Additionally, Gavaskar praised England’s experienced and talented bowling lineup.

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“The defending champions, England, because of the kind of talent that they have at, at the top of the order, the batting order, they’ve got two or three world-class all-rounders who can change the game with both bat and ball. They’ve also got a very good bowling line-up, an experienced bowling line-up, so at the moment in my book certainly,” Gavaskar expressed his views on Star Sports.

Pathan favors the hosts – India

Pathan, former all-rounder, had a different favorite in mind. Pathan reckoned that the host nation, India, are a strong contender for the title. He cited India’s recent performances, including their title-winning campaign in the Asia Cup 2023 and a successful home series against Australia, as reasons for his optimism.

“I’m very excited to see how India performs, and I really think they are one of the favorites, for sure because especially last couple of series, like Asia Cup, and the way India played against Australia as well in the home conditions. I think they are ticking all the boxes,” said Pathan.

Also READ: Gautam Gambhir predicts the four semifinalists of ODI World Cup 2023

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