Former New Zealand fast bowler Simon Doull has picked Sri Lanka and India as top two favourites to lift the World Cup, starting February 19 in the Indian subcontinent.
Picking Sri Lanka as his top favourite, Doull writes in Sunday News: "While most are tipping this to be India's time to shine in the sun, I'm not so convinced. To me, Sri Lanka looks like the team to beat. On paper, they boast an impressive side that is strong in all facets of the game."
He writes that India is the other favourite to win the Cup, but the team can struggle under pressure of huge expectation.
"By all accounts, India should win the Cricket World Cup. The tournament's in their own back yard and Gary Kirsten's squad is one every other coach in the game will be looking at with envy.
"That said, I don't think they'll win. The pressure on the Indians to deliver on their potential is huge. And, traditionally, Indian cricket teams have struggled under the weight of expectation. I've got a feeling that's going to happen again," Doull writes.
He further says that South Africa, an absolute force in world cricket, must be considered near certainties to make the semifinals.
"With a squad that includes the likes of Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Dale Steyn and Jacques Kallis, they will be heading to the subcontinent with a determination to finally break their duck and get their hands on the World Cup that has eluded them. But given the venue of this Cup is on the subcontinent I think the host sides Bangladesh aside, of course might just have the edge on them."
Doull also writes that he would be surprised if Ricky Ponting-led Australian team fails to reach semifinal.