James Nixon | 8:37am BST 30 May 2019
Forget the dozens of T20 leagues around the world, forget whether India and Pakistan don’t play a bilateral series, forget the Ashes. The biggest cricketing tournament in the world the quadrennial ICC Cricket World Cups is now part of the discourse among fans and punters. No other tournament garbs as much attention and eyeballs as the Cricket World Cup does. As a punter you may already be busy with your maths and analytics. From judging team form to studying the conditions you have your hands full as you anticipate what’s expected to happen in this year’s tournament. So which team is ahead in the race and which players are likely to do well? Bookmakers and cricket analysts have already come up with their ICC World Cup betting predictions.
The 2019 edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup is expected to be a competitive one. The tournament has been cut down to 10 teams from the 14 in last two editions and 16 that played in 2007 World Cup. Each team will play 9 games in the league stage before the best four advanced to the semi-finals. There are no short-cuts to success here and only the best teams can hope to make it to the knockout stage of the tournament. So which are the teams that are likely to make it to the semi-finals? Here’s our ICC World Cup Predictions for the 2019 edition where we look at teams that might make it to the semi-finals.
- Australia – They don’t come with the tag of ‘favorites’ that has followed them in most editions since the start of the millennia. In fact their form over the last two years has been pretty poor. But the team will definitely be one to watch out for given the strength in their batting with former skipper Steven Smith and David Warner having returned to the side. Glenn Maxwell, skipper Aaron Finch and Uswman Khawaja make the batting strong. Australia’s bowling hasn’t done well especially Mitchell Starc in the last two years and it would be interesting to see how they fare in this tournament. The team has always done well in crunch situations and this justifies them being one of the contenders for the title.
- India – They have been one of the best ODI sides in the world in the last two years and have done well in all conditions. They finished runner-up in the last major ICC event the Champions Trophy that was also held in England in 2017. The team has one of the best top-orders in the world with their skipper Virat Kohli being the lynchpin along with MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan. With two excellent finger spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal and the best death bowler in the world in Jasprit Bumrah they have it in them to go all the way and win the tournament.
- England – The team of 4 J’s (Jason Roy, Jos Buttler, Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow) and one M (Eoin Morgan) the hosts are the best team in the world at the moment and have the most destructive batting line-up in the world which is quite a turnaround for a side which was known for playing slow and unattractive cricket. They have been putting up huge scores on the board for fun in the last few years. But it is the English bowling that would worry the skipper the most. They haven’t been able to win as many games as the side would have liked and often throw away the momentum at crucial stages. Also they will have the pressure of playing in front of their fans but they will definitely start as the tournament favorites.
- New Zealand – They have never won a World Cup and came close in the last edition only to lose in the final. But Kane Williamson’s side definitely has the strength to go the distance. With Martin Guptil, Williamson and Ross Taylor in the batting and some powerful hitters down at the bottom they have a good batting line-up going into this event. It is their bowling that will have to stand the test in the tournament as other than their new ball bowlers Tim Southee and Trent Boult none of the others have been able to impress in the last few series that the side has played.
- South Africa – They have always gone into the event with a good team and failed. In 2019 they have the best fast bowling unit for any time. They may be able to go the distance but the side has to win the mental battle within more than anything else. The ‘chokers’ tag has stuck too long and they need to get rid of it this time.
- West Indies – On their day they can put up 400+ scores and also dismiss a side for less than 200 with their good yet inconsistent bowling unit. The team would do well if it gains some consistency during the tournament. This is perhaps the first World Cup since the 1999 edition where they have a team that can possibly pull
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