Eoin Morgan believes Pakistan are the ‘second or third’ favourites for the 2019 World Cup after winning the Champions Trophy in England two years ago.
Pakistan beat Morgan’s England in the semi-finals of the 2017 Champions Trophy before defeating rivals India to lift the title.
Mickey Arthur’s team were thrashed 5-0 at home by Australia last month but Pakistan opted to rest a number of key players in the series.
They will face hosts England next month as they prepare for the World Cup and Morgan has talked up their chances of impressing in the tournament.
‘We play Pakistan in five ODIs, go to Ireland for one game, and we have a T20 in among that,’ Morgan said, discussing England’s path to the World Cup.
‘It’s a nice way to ease into the summer and get some really good, competitive cricket going. Pakistan are probably second or third favourites for the tournament.
‘They hold the Champions Trophy – playing extremely well to win that, in England – so it’s a series we’re all looking forward to.
‘Over the four years we’ve been together, we have had so many guys who have contributed to the position we find ourselves.
‘We’ve gone past a 15-man squad of guys who can contribute into probably an 18, 19-man squad who could all easily be selected for the final 15.
‘And one benefit from having the Pakistan series in the build-up is that guys who are in form will get opportunities to stake their claim for World Cup positions.
‘There’s tough decisions to be made, sure, but at the same time, there is still more cricket to be played.’
England crashed out at the group stages of the 2015 World Cup but have since climbed to the top of the ICC rankings and Morgan is confident about the team’s chances ahead of the summer.
‘As we go through the tournament, we will have to adapt accordingly. But, being a confident side, in good form, will allow us to adapt better to different positions,’ he told Sky Sports.
‘The level of expectation is there because of the performances we have put in over the past few years.
‘Within the group, we do believe we can go the whole way. We have to play incredibly well to do that, with a lot of tough teams we’ll need to beat, but we certainly believe.’
Article source: https://metro.co.uk/2019/04/14/pakistan-second-or-third-favourites-for-2019-world-cup-says-england-captain-eoin-morgan-9197111/