Mohammad Hafeez believes India, England and Pakistan are the top three favourite teams to win the upcoming ICC ODI World Cup.
He is confident that Pakistan can defeat India in the World Cup and the recent ODI defeats won’t impact their performance in the mega event.
"Even from a critical point of view I think we are among the top three favourites for the World Cup. England is always favourites given the brand of cricket they are playing while India has developed a very good ODI side and have some great spinners in their line-up," Hafeez said on GTV News network.
Hafeez further added that the single format of the World Cup will work in favour of Pakistan as they have the tendency of performing better after playing one or two games.
"In the group system teams usually don't get second chances and remember in 2007 both India and Pakistan were eliminated in the first round," he said.
David Warner and Jonny Bairstow are breaking records in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League. They have managed to give impressive starts to Sunrisers Hyderabad in all their matches. Their dominance has been such that middle order has not faced too many challenges so far. In the last night game against Delhi Capitals, they once again added more than 60 runs on a challenging wicket at the Feroz Shah Kotla.
The right hand batsman scored 48 runs off 28 balls while Warner accumulated 10. They became the second pair in the history of the league to stich four consecutive 50+ partnerships after Warner and Dhawan for the same team in 2014. Bairstow has been a revelation since joining SRH. He was bought for Rs 2.20 crores and has scored 246 runs at an average of 61.50 and an impressive strike rate of 167.34.
At the moment, the Indian Premier League (IPL) is going in full swing. Players are competing hard to perform well as each and every major cricket playing nation are keeping their eyes fixated on the cash-rich IPL. Without a doubt, good performance in IPL will go a long way when it comes to selection in the cricket World Cup.
But, even if Indian players perform well, they shouldn't be considered for the Cricket World Cup feels Mumbai Indians skipper and India's limited-overs vice-captain, Rohit Sharma.
"With their inputs, the selectors will keep an eye on what is happening with those guys in IPL although I feel IPL should not be the criteria for team selection," he was quoted as saying by PTI.
"They have played enough international matches to see where each individual stands. You can't select a team for the 50-over format from a 20-over event, it's my personal opinion. IPL is a different ball game. It's franchise cricket and yes, form matters a lot, he added."
Rohit, however, emphasized the need to play competitive cricket before such a big event than sitting at home and not being match prepared.
"Every time we play IPL, there is some big event right after happening - a big Test series or big one-day series. It does help also. 35-plus or 40 guys will probably need some rest. I was talking to Jasprit (Bumrah) the other day. He needs to play a lot of matches and bowl a lot to be match fit than be at home. I also, as a batter, need to play," said Rohit.
Lasith Malinga has not lost his touch despite growing age. The 35-year old legendary bowler picked up career best one-day figures of 7-49 in one of the domestic matches in Sri Lanka. He had earlier scalped three wickets in an IPL clash against Chennai Super Kings.
On Wednesday, he dismissed Shane Watson, Kedar Jadhav and Dwayne Bravo in Mumbai's victory over Chennai. After the match, he took the flight to Kandy in order to play a one-day game between Galle and Kandy. His rival captain Dimuth Karunaratne elected to field first upon winning the toss, giving Malinga enough time to recover.
He was on fire and finished with the figures of 7-49 to complete a thumping 156-run win. "We need to show an example to the youngsters," Malinga said after the match.
"How an international player should commit himself to the game. I think they will learn something out of this lesson."