WATCH: Mithali Raj explains why India are favourites to lift World Cup 2019https://indianexpress.com/article/sports/cricket/mithali-raj-explains-why-india-are-favourites-to-lift-world-cup-2019-5742685/

WATCH: Mithali Raj explains why India are favourites to lift World Cup 2019

Mithali Raj said that Virat Kohli himself leads the team from the front and is well supported by both the openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma.

Mithali Raj has picked India as the favourites to lift the upcoming World Cup that starts from May 30 in England. (AP/File Photo)

Mithali Raj has picked India as the favourites to lift the upcoming World Cup that starts from May 30 in England. In a conversation with the British Deputy High Commissioner, Andrew Fleming, posted in Hyderabad, Mithali says that the current Indian unit has a lot of match winners and are enjoying a good run in all the formats of the game.

When asked about the match-winners from the Indian unit, the captain of national women’s ODI team said that Virat Kohli himself leads the team from the front and is well supported by the opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma.

“The Indian team has a lot of match-winners now. Of course, the captain (Virat Kohli) leads from the front with the openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, but we also have fast bowlers like Jasprit Bumrah and the spinners,” Mithali said.

She further stated that posting a huge total on the board and being able to successfully defend it will be the mantra behind winning the showpiece event. “But overall I think, the team which posts a big total and the bowlers who are able to do the job to contain those runs, is the team which is going to win. But then we do have a lot of depth. We have the expertise of Dhoni in the side. So, I can’t pick one player, but India definitely has a lot of match-winners,” Mithali said.

However, the 36-year-old Indian cricketer also feels that hosts England are also strong contenders and are currently enjoying good form. “But I cannot rule out the home team (England). Even they have done very well. They had some 10 to 15 victory streaks in the one-dayers. They will also play on home conditions. Having said that, I think as an Indian I will root for India.”

India will gear up for the World Cup with warm-up matches against New Zealand and Bangladesh on May 25 and 28 respectively. Virat Kohli and Co. will open their World Cup campaign against South Africa on June 5 at Southampton.