Former England batsman Rob Key believes the top-three ranked sides namely England, India, and New Zealand are favourites to win this year's International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup, which is slated to be held in England and Wales from May 30 to July 14.
While England and New Zealand are still looking for their maiden Men's World Cup title after finishing runners-up thrice and once respectively, India have picked the trophy on two occasions, i.e, in 1983 and most recently in 2011.
Being a home side, England have been tipped as favourites by many to win the coveted trophy this summer. However, Key believes New Zealand hold a fair chance this time around to give strong competition to India and England, the ICC reported.
“You will never go into a World Cup where someone isn’t tipping up New Zealand as an outside chance,” Key told Sky Sports.
“This time they will be behind England and India in the betting but not far behind," the former England player added.
The retirement of veterans Brendon McCullum and Daniel Vettori might have left a void in New Zealand, but the team had retained some key players that guided the side to their first final of the World Cup four years ago.
"We always say that they punch above their weight, yet we always tip them to do well and they have some top players – Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Martin Guptill, Tim Southee, Trent Boult," Key said.
Describing New Zealand as an "excellent side", Key believes hosts England and second-ranked India would be pushed all the way by the Black Caps in the upcoming prestigious cricket event.
“They have been a strong outfit for a long time in one-day cricket and are a side you are always wary of, no matter how good your form may be, "Key signed off.