This is a big game. If Australia wins, they will top the pool and face New Zealand in Manchester. We will get to see the Trans-Tasman rivalry yet again. But if Australia loses against South Africa, then they will have to face England. Incredible Ashes match can happen in Birmingham. India will then fancy their chances against New Zealand.
All permutations and combinations in the semi-finals are still alive. The World Cup has become so interesting that till the last match, we don’t know who will face whom in the semis.
Australia on paper start as favourites. David Warner has just had a kid. Many congratulations for Isla Rose. That’s the name of his baby. He was spending time with his baby in London at an apartment. He had taken a break for three to four days.
Will Australia field Warner? Maybe. Aaron Finch and David Warner have a superb partnership. Shaun Marsh is out injured for the rest of the tournament. Peter Handscomb comes in as his replacement. Usman Khwaja and Steven Smith are in good form.
Glenn Maxwell hasn’t set the stage on fire. But Australia is a good side. Jason Behrendoff along with Pat Cummins or Mitchell Starc along with Nathan Lyon. They have a great bowling lineup.
On the other hand, don’t rule out South Africa. Kagiso Rabada, Chris Morris, Dwaine Pretorious, Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller. These are not bad players.
Before the World Cup started, South Africa were the contenders for the semi-finals. They have played very bad cricket but they will also want to redeem themselves. The match can be attractive. So, it can be a cracker of a contest and anything can happen though Australia definitely starts as favourites.
(Featured Image: Twitter/Cricket World Cup)
About the Author
Sports journalist. Author. Rhodes scholar & adjunct professor @Monashuni. Sr. research fellow at Univ. of Central Lancashire