SWOT analysis of India's CWC 2019 squad 

Members of the Indian team line up for the national anthems during the third Twenty20 international cricket match between New Zealand and India in Hamilton on February 10, 2019. (AFP File Photo)

With the opening fixture of the Cricket World Cup 2019 a fortnight away, the hype is already here. All teams are set to play each other once in the group stage, which means that quite a few gruelling encounters are in store. 

Two teams widely tipped as trophy favourites are England and India. The Indian team, led by Virat Kohli, is aiming to win their third World Cup. Let's do a SWOT analysis on the India squad. 

Strengths:

The biggest positive is the top-order batting. In Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli, they have arguably the strongest top three in the tournament. Over the last four years, whenever one of them gets in and makes it count, India goes on to win the game. 
The trio delivers consistently. The team's spin battery is simply world-class. Ravindra Jadeja's accuracy, Yuzvendra Chahal's valiance and Kuldeep Yadav's guile form a lethal combo. 
The core strength of this outfit is impeccable. They have built a strong nucleus since the 2015 World Cup. And the Men in Blue have won a remarkable 56 ODIs since that tournament. 

Weaknesses:

Strengths can sometimes become overdependence. And this is true for India's middle order, which has often been too reliant on the top three to provide starts, dictate the middle overs and construct huge individual scores that boost the team total. 

The number 4 conundrum continues to spark doubts over stability in the middle order. And an injured, out-of-form Kedar Jadhav is another cause for concern. 

Opportunities:

This team is capable of going all the way. As Head Coach Ravi Shastri said a couple of days ago, the team is flexible enough to alter its batting order. 

The bowling attack, spearheaded by Jasprit Bumrah, is looking fresh and solid. Hardik Pandya seems to be in the form of his life. If he bats for about five to six overs, the all-rounder can take the game away from the opposition. His abilities in all departments provide the team with a cutting edge. 

The bench, which may include KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja and Dinesh Karthik, provides options that can slot in when needed to support the team over the long tournament. 

Threats:

The team's biggest challenge will be to put recent form behind them. Yes, they tried out various combinations, but the series defeat against Australia in India caused some panic among observers. With just three wins in their last 10 international fixtures, India will have to start strong at the World Cup. 

On English wickets that will have something for the fast bowlers, the team management opted to go with just three pacers. Looking at the length of the group stage, the BCCI's selections may come under the scanner. With left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed's impressive IPL performances, the team may regret not having the services of a fourth seamer. 

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