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Hardik Pandya has a 'great chance' of World Cup success - Yuvraj Singh

Hardik Pandya targets the leg side BCCI

England and India are firm favourites going into the 2019 World Cup, according to Yuvraj Singh, Player of the Series in the 2011 edition of the tournament.

Speaking at a promotional event on Saturday, Yuvraj also included Australia among his favourites.

"My first two teams are England and India," Yuvraj said. "Obviously with [David] Warner and [Steven] Smith coming back [from their ball-tampering bans], Australia will be in contention. West Indies also looked a very power-packed side. You can't say much at this stage. I think it would be India and England first, third would be Australia. Fourth I don't know. I will tell you later…"

Yuvraj, who last played an ODI in June 2017, said Hardik Pandya could make a big impact for India, given the form he carries into the World Cup from the IPL.

"I was actually having this conversation with him yesterday where I told him that "you have a great chance of performing really well with the ball and bat," the kind of form he is in at the moment.

"Definitely, the way he is batting at the moment, it is phenomenal and I hope he carries that form (into the World Cup). He has been bowling well in patches but as I said it is all about how you handle the pressure... I just hope that Hardik has an awesome tournament, the way he is batting at the moment."

Among the positive signs Yuvraj sees in Pandya's batting is his big hitting against quality bowlers.

"He got 91 from 34 balls against KKR, probably that is the best innings I have seen in the IPL just because he hit four quality bowlers he was batting against," Yuvraj said. "When you are doing that, you know that someone is batting very well."

Yuvraj is enthused by the form of India's batsmen, but he cautioned that T20 form cannot be a guarantee of ODI form.

"See you can't really compare T20 form with 50-overs. In T20 you don't have the time and you have to start going and hitting fours and sixes and it's a different ball game," Yuvraj said. "In 50 overs you have a lot of time (to get) set and start going, you can't really assess 20-overs form for 50 overs.

"MS [Dhoni] is in good form, Rohit [Sharma] is hitting ball well so is Virat [Kohli], Shikhar [Dhawan]. If you look at 90 per cent of the guys they are in good form.

"At No 6, Kedar [Jadhav], you get less opportunity to show your form so I'm pretty happy with the way all the guys are playing."

The 2019 World Cup begins on May 30 with England facing South Africa at The Oval. India's campaign begins against South Africa on July 5.