SWOT analysis: Kohli-led India strong contender for silverware

India goes into the tournament as one of the frontrunners for the title, but England, the tournament host, and the defending champion, Australia, are the primary threats to its quest for a third World Cup and the second on English soil.

India’s strengths are its top-order batting and lethal bowling attack, which is not short on variety.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Led by Virat Kohli, India is back to the same place where it won its maiden World Cup title under the leadership of Kapil Dev. India has the right team going into the World Cup and doesn't look like getting into a tangle in the league stage.

Sportstar does a SWOT analysis of Team India, leading to the World Cup.

Strengths

India’s strengths are its top-order batting and lethal bowling attack, which is not short on variety.

Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Kohli make India’s top-three among the most formidable in one-day cricket. If one of them gets a century or two of them put together a strong partnership, they tend to put India in a strong position — batting first or second.

The five specialist bowlers (Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal) in India’s 15-man squad are wicket-takers, while the all-round abilities of Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja will lend balance to the playing XI.

Weaknesses

Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar describes India’s middle order as “a soft underbelly”, with the team going into the World Cup without a designated No. 4. K.L. Rahul, Vijay Shankar and Dinesh Karthik are the options for that position, though M.S. Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav have previously batted there as well.

Opportunities

India’s first four opponents at the World Cup are South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Pakistan. On paper, that’s a tough start for any team, but it’s an opportunity for India to lay down a marker against the other title contenders. If India wins three or all of its first four matches, then it doesn’t find itself in a do-or-die situation later on in the round-robin stage.

Threats

India goes into the tournament as one of the frontrunners for the title, but England, the tournament host, and the defending champion, Australia, are the primary threats to its quest for a third World Cup and the second on English soil.

Squad: Virat Kohli (capt), Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shikhar Dhawan, MS Dhoni (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul, Mohammed Shami, Vijay Shankar, Rohit Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav.