Hales reckons India are a strong team, but feels defending champs Australia are also building up to be strong title contenders. @ AFP

Eoin Morgan’s side is well-fancied to be crowned world champions at the ICC World Cup 2019, and Alex Hales seems to be confident about it, but warned the side that they need to perform under pressure.

“England are the favourites and that is based on what we have achieved in the last four years, which has been fantastic. That is why we are currently ranked the No 1 ODI team in the world. To not have lost a series in the last 10 ODI series shows that we are the in-form team. But as we saw in the last Champions Trophy anything can happen when it comes to knockout cricket,” Hales told Sky Sports on Monday. (ALSO READ: Eoin Morgan channels ‘once-in-a-generation opportunity’ for England)

“Hopefully, if we play good cricket at the World Cup we will get through to the knockout stages and then it’s all about how we perform under-pressure in those games. Hopefully, we’ve learnt from our past experiences and can go all the way.”

The opening batsman reckons India are a strong team, but feels defending champs Australia are also building up to be strong title contenders leading up to the global showpiece event which gets underway on May 30.

“We all know that India are always a seriously strong team when it comes to World Cup tournaments. But with Pakistan you never quite know what Pakistan you are going to get. If they turn up, on their day they are an unbelievable team as we saw in the Champions Trophy, so nobody can rule them out,” he explained.

“We also have Australia who by winning the recent series in India showed that they shouldn’t be written off, especially if they have all their pacemen available and with David Warner and Steve Smith back in their ranks. So, I would say that England, India, Pakistan and Australia are the four main teams in the running to lift the World Cup.”

Hales, who replaced David Warner for the Hyderabad franchise in the T20 League, was left unsold in this edition.

“To be honest, I never go into any auction expecting to be get picked up for hundreds of thousands of dollars or pounds. The fact is that I’ve had limited experience over in India and limited success in that tournament,” he said. (ALSO READ: Joe Denly wants to make most of T20 League to impress England selectors)

“Having said that, I would have loved to have been a part of the IPL and been out there as it’s a great tournament and all Twenty20 players around the world want to be involved in it. But now on the other hand I’ve got a quiet two to three weeks I can rest and train ahead of a big summer for English cricket, so I suppose it’s really a win-win situation for me.”