ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne says India favourites to win the tournament

Dimuth Karunaratne said India are the favourites to win the World Cup as they have the most balanced side, after Sri Lanka's loss to India

Agence France-Presse, Jul 07, 2019 11:26:34 IST

Leeds: Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne has backed India to win the World Cup after losing to Virat Kohli's side at Headingley on Saturday. India wrapped up their group stage campaign with a seven-wicket victory inspired by Rohit Sharma's record fifth century of the tournament.

Sri Lanka, the 1996 champions, created the biggest upset of this World Cup by beating hosts England but failed to make the semi-finals. Karunaratne believes that of the four semi-finalists in India, England, holders Australia and New Zealand, it is Kohli's team who are the most well balanced.

"I think India has a better chance to win this World Cup," Karunaratne told reporters. "And I think on that particular day if the other team can do better than the India team, they're definitely going to win."

ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne says India favourites to win the tournament

File photo Dimuth Karunaratne. AP

Rohit Sharma, who made 103, led India's chase during his 189-run opening stand with KL Rahul, who went on to top score with 111. Earlier, Jasprit Bumrah took three wickets to restrict Sri Lanka to 264 for seven despite a gritty hundred from Angelo Mathews.

Karunaratne, who was made the captain just ahead of the World Cup, credited India's domestic structure for their steady flow in talent. "I think India, they have a nice structure behind the India national team. I think they have the IPL (Indian Premier League)," said Karunaratne.

"They have good domestic teams and a good season. So those are the things they will keep building, keep producing the good players. So we expect the same from our administration." Karunaratne said the team was disappointed not to give a winning farewell to veteran paceman Lasith Malinga, who was playing his last World Cup game.

"We all want to give him a nice farewell, but unfortunately we couldn't. But I think we tried really hard," said Karunaratne. "But Mali (Malinga) is going to play another couple of games in Sri Lanka against Bangladesh. We'll try to give a nice send-off at that time."

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Updated Date: Jul 07, 2019 11:26:34 IST

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3778 105
5 Australia 2640 98
6 Sri Lanka 3462 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
6 Pakistan 4756 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 India 8099 261
5 Australia 5471 261
6 New Zealand 4056 254