World Cup: India or England- Whose squad is stronger?
The ICC World Cup 2019 is now less than a month away. Meanwhile, Virat Kohli-led India and hosts England enter the tournament as title favorites. As both the teams have several stars in their ranks, comparisons are bound to be made. Here we analyze as to which team is stronger between the two and has the best chance of winning the trophy.
India's top-order is world class, England have hard-hitters
Staring with the top-order, both the sides have genuine match winners. India have a settled top-order with each of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and skipper Virat Kohli capable of anchoring the innings. As for England, they have more hard-hitters especially their openers Jason Roy, and Jonny Bairstow. Further, Joe Root is a solid customer as well. Notably, Alex Hales can still script a comeback.
Number four remains India's biggest headache
India's biggest issue, this World Cup, would be the number four position. The selectors had clearly mentioned that Vijay Shankar would start as the number four. However, given Shankar's form in IPL, things look difficult for him. As of now, MS Dhoni looks India's best best. England's skipper Eoin Morgan is their preferred number four batsmen. His form would give them assurance.
England's middle-order does not rely on top-order
While on paper, both the teams have a star-studded middle-order, there is a notable difference. India's middle-order has been shaky since 2017, mostly relying on the start given by the top-order. As for England, it is not the case at all. Moreover, playing at home gives their middle-order the edge to build innings, even if their top-order fails to provide an explosive start.
India's spinners ahead, but England could give competition
India's spin department would enjoy services of Yuzvendra Chahal and chinaman Kuldeep Yadav. They can be deadly in England. Further, they would be backed by Kedar Jadhav, who is economical. England have Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali. India have a slight edge in this department.
India's pace attack better than England's
India have a settled pace attack compared to England. Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar can dominate on any track, let alone England's. They are also likely to get support from Hardik Pandya. As for England, they too have enough options, but their troublesome form could prove to be fatal. Their star all-rounder Ben Stokes was expensive in the ongoing IPL.
Kohli has better record than Morgan
Considering the captaincy record, Kohli is ahead of Morgan. While Kohli is definitely a better player than Morgan in the format, the captaincy records say the same story. In 95 matches, Morgan has a win percentage of 60, while Kohli's percentage is 72.06. Kohli (45.59%) also has a marginally better toss winning stats than Morgan (44.21%).
Nothing much to separate these sides
Finally, coming to a conclusion, there is little to separate the two. Both the sides look equally strong and are at par. They are about expected to qualify for the semi-finals. However, the author feels that while India are not chokers like England, the home advantage, enjoyed by the Three Lions, could put them marginally ahead this term.