Cricket World Cup Team Guide - Part 1: England, Australia, India, Afghanistan and Bangladesh
Watch the Cricket World Cup live on Sky Sports from Thursday!
Last Updated: 28/05/19 8:59pm
Will England triumph on home soil? Will a resurgent Australia retain their crown? Check out part one of our World Cup guide...
World Cup best: Group stage (2015)
2015 result: As above
Sky Bet odds: 80/1
Talking point: The decision to axe Asghar Afghan as captain. The now former skipper is in Afghanistan's 15 and his experience could prove key as new man at the helm, Gulbadin Naib, plots a way to take a few of the big teams' scalps. Rashid Khan and Mohammed Nabi voiced their displeasure at the removal of Afghan, who captained Afghanistan to Test status and to the maiden Test win against Ireland, as well as 33 ODI and 37 T20I victories. Could the leadership change negatively affect Afghanistan?
Being a senior member of the side & having seen the rise of Afghanistan cricket @ashrafghani I don’t think it’s the right time to change the captain before the WC @afgexecutive The team has gelled really well under #Asghar & personally feel he is the right man to lead us @hmohib— Mohammad Nabi (@MohammadNabi007) April 5, 2019
Nasser says: Afghanistan will beat at least one major Test-playing nation. If you turn up and take them lightly - which one team might do, after playing say India, South Africa, New Zealand in a row - their spinners will punish you.
Nasser's one to watch: Mohammad Shahzad can smash it at the top of the order, but my one to watch simply has to be one of their spinners. Rashid Khan, with all of his mystery and variations, is one of the best white-ball bowlers in world cricket at the moment.
Squad: Gulbadin Naib (captain), Mohammad Shahzad, Noor Ali Zadran, Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Aftab Alam, Hamid Hassan, Mujeeb ur Rahman
World Cup best: Winners (1987, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2015)
2015 result: Winners
Sky Bet odds: 4/1
Talking point: Steve Smith and David Warner. The decision of whether or not they should return to the squad has already been made with both included in the Aussies' 15-man squad, but will they help or hinder the side? On the face of it, the return of two world-class batsmen can only be a good thing but given that Australia have won their last eight ODIs, three against India and a 5-0 whitewash of Pakistan in the UAE, might reinstating the former captain and vice-captain unbalance the side? Australia certainly were not flying in one-day cricket before the pair were banned.
Nasser says: Their form of late has been exceptional. The team is in a completely different place from when they were in England last time, when they lost the ODI series 5-0. Under head coach Justin Langer, they have gone from strength to strength.
Nasser's one to watch: Warner. How will he fit back into the side? And where will he bat? Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja have been going in at the top in his absence, but he is an absolutely destructive batsman. He goes into the tournament in great form from the IPL.
Squad: Aaron Finch (captain), Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa
World Cup best: Quarter-finals (2015)
2015 result: Quarter-finals (lost to India)
Sky Bet odds: 80/1
Talking point: Coach Steve Rhodes has gone to great lengths to stress the depth of his squad - and, to be fair, the likes of seamer Abu Jayed and all-rounder Soumya Sarkar have justified that faith of late with decent performances in Tri-Nations victories over West Indies and Ireland leading into the World Cup. The suspicion remains, however, that the Tigers are too reliant on their fantastic four - Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mashrafe Mortaza. It's an impressive quartet, no doubt, but to be in with a shot of reaching the semi-finals they will need huge performances from throughout the squad.
Nasser says: They can still cause an upset on their day, though they are still playing slightly old-fashioned white-ball cricket, with the exception of Tamim. And there are a lot of concerns over their bowling, and specifically the fitness of their bowlers.
Nasser's one to watch: After Tamim, in that middle order, they are going to need someone to step up. Shakib is that man. With his all-round potential with the ball too, and his experience, he is going to vital for this team.
Squad: Mashrafe Mortaza (captain), Shakib Al Hasan, Liton Das, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mosaddek Hossain, Rubel Hossain, Tamim Iqbal, Abu Jayed, Mahmudullah, Mohammad Mithun, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mustafizur Rahman, Sabbir Rahman, Mohammad Saifuddin, Soumya Sarkar
World Cup best: Runners-up (1979, 1987, 1992)
2015 result: Group stage
Sky Bet odds: 2/1f
Talking point: Quite simply, can the favourites handle the pressure of bringing home the bacon in a home World Cup? Captain Eoin Morgan has rightly been quick to keep expectations in check, describing the tournament as "extraordinarily competitive" and his ice-cool demeanour will go a long way to calming any nerves. The skipper's faith in his players and commitment to an aggressive brand of cricket has proved unwavering. There's no reason to believe Jofra Archer's late inclusion should unsettle a largely-settled squad, so it all boils down now to executing under match stress.
Nasser says: Favourites for the tournament, for me. They go in as the No 1 ranked side, with the best No 1 to 11 batting lineup in the tournament. The biggest issue for them will be the handling of pressure in the knockout games.
Nasser's one to watch: Jos Buttler. I've said it before, but he's just a freak. Sometimes we do not build up our own cricketers enough; this bloke is so special, it's untrue. The game is not over until you get Buttler out.
Squad: Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood
World Cup best: Winners (1983, 2011)
2015 result: Semi-finals (lost to Australia)
Sky Bet odds: 3/1
Talking point: India's middle-order remains both a concern for Virat Kohli's team and an enigma for those trying to guess the make-up of the team. While India boast a strong top-order and a fearsome bowling line-up, they have yet to cement players in the No 4 and 5 spots. Whether MS Dhoni should bat at in either of those positions has been a persistent question in the build up to the tournament and finding the right combination of players in that middle-order may well be the key to whether or not they lift the trophy.
Nasser says: Semi-finalists, at least, for me. They have three or four of the great white-ball cricketers to have ever played the game, in the likes of Kohli, Dhoni and Rohit Sharma. They also have a very strong seam attack. The only concern for me is a slight lack of depth to their batting, with them having quite a long tail.
Nasser's one to watch: It has to be Kohli. He is simply the best player on the planet, especially in a run-chase - I don't think there has ever been anyone better. I would have liked to mention Rishabh Pant here too, but I was surprised to see that he was not drafted into their squad. Selection is one area India have not always got right, but they probably know best.
Squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shikhar Dhawan, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul, Mohammad Shami, Vijay Shankar, Rohit Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav
You can watch every match of the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup on Sky Sports Cricket, starting with England vs South Africa at The Oval from 9.30am on Thursday.