46 days, 10 nations, 1 trophy Cricket World Cup begins today

HIS batting conquests are already a stuff of legends and a World Cup victory will be like the ‘Kohinoor’ in ‘King’ Virat Kohli’s crown. His tunnel vision quest for the crowning glory will be littered with many hurdles – which may come in the garb of Steve Smith and David Warner, the Australians who have been longing for a career resurrection for more than 12 months now.
 
And then there is Irishman Eoin Morgan leading the England team, as he seeks to end a ‘44-year-old English itch’ – no WC victory since 1975 – backed by a team packed with talent and ambition like never before. During the next six and half weeks 10 countries will play against each other for global cricket’s most coveted crown and the battle will begin with a clash between firm favourites and hosts England and South Africa on Thursday.
 
A minimum of five victories will be required to qualify for the semi-finals and that will be the primary aim of the teams. While India, England and Australia headline the event, a disciplined New Zealand, the mavericks from Pakistan and the flamboyant Caribbeans are well capable winning the title. The batting line-up is one of the most formidable with Kohli leading from the front, Rohit Sharma providing the zing and Hardik Pandya the flamboyance. The Indian team would strive to make it a memorable World Cup swansong for Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who will be playing his fourth and final mega event. For Australia, the perfect reintegration of David Warner and Steve Smith in the set-up was just what the team needed.
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