World Cup 2019: Predicting the results of semi-finals and final

World Cup 2019: Predicting the results of semi-finals and final

India will face New Zealand at the Old Trafford Stadium in Manchester and the Ashes rivals, England and Australia will square off at Edgbaston in Birmingham.

Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul India
Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. (Photo Source: Twitter)

At the start of the tournament, there was a lot of talk about how this might be the most competitive World Cup and how this might be one of the best World Cups of all time. 45 games later, it has more or less lived up to expectation. It took 39 games for this World Cup to produce a dead rubber.

Teams fought hard and fair to earn a spot in the top four. In fact, it wasn’t till the last over of the 45th and the last group stage game that the line-ups for the semi-finals were decided. Hence, here we are after 45 league games, with the four semi-finalists – India, Australia, England and New Zealand.

India will face New Zealand at the Old Trafford Stadium in Manchester and the Ashes rivals, England and Australia will square off at Edgbaston in Birmingham. Thus, with just a couple more days to go before the knockouts kickstart, let’s predict the results of the semi-finals and the finals.

SEMI-FINAL 1: India vs New Zealand

These are two teams which had very similar results until the seventh game of the tournament. Both India and New Zealand were unbeaten for their first six games before suffering a defeat in their seventh. When they faced each other, the game was washed out. However, after their first defeat, India bounced back hard and won two games on the bounce to finish at the top of the table while New Zealand lost their last two games to just about sneak in.

India have enjoyed playing at Old Trafford in this World Cup. They won both their games there and will be confident going into the semi-final. Meanwhile, New Zealand also won the only game they played at Old Trafford.

However, momentum is on India’s side. Moreover, with the pitch expected to be batting friendly, India certainly hold the edge. New Zealand’s batting has been shaky in this tournament and it could cost them dearly. Moreover, India have got better every game and they have momentum on their side as well. Thus, India will start favourites in the first semi-final and are likely to advance to the final.

However, don’t count out New Zealand. They handed India a thrashing in their first warm-up game and they can bite you if you take them lightly. Thus, it promises to be a cracking game but India hold all the aces for the moment.

Winner: India

SEMI-FINAL 2: England vs Australia

It’s going to be a blockbuster,” Aaron Finch was quoted saying about the England-Australia semi-final in the press conference after Australia’s loss to South Africa in their final league game. It can’t get bigger and better than this. The fierce Ashes rivals facing off in a World Cup semi-final.

Australia have been one of the best teams in this World Cup. They have won seven out of their nine group-stage games and are looking really strong. On the hand, England have picked up momentum at the right time in this World Cup. They looked dicey after two back to back losses, but two excellent wins over India and New Zealand has refueled the confidence.

Edgbaston in Birmingham is expected to produce a batting beauty and we may be in for a run-fest. Moreover, the last time Australia won an ODI at this venue was way back in 1993. But they did manage to tie the famous 1999 semi-final against South Africa at this venue. However, England enjoy a very good record at this venue. The last time they lost an ODI at this ground was in 2014. Hence, the odds are up against the Aussies as far as the venue is concerned.

England have gone down to Australia twice in this tournament – once in the warm-ups and again at Lord’s (match number 32). However, the Eoin Morgan-led side has been fantastic and has got on a roll. Hence, they will be hard to stop. Thus, England might just pip the defending champions to reach their first ever World Cup final since 1992.

Winner: England

FINAL: England vs India

England and India have been the two best teams in the last four years. No other teams have win-loss ratios in excess of two except England and India. Hence, it would be fitting for the World Cup to have an England-India final.

Both teams have contrasting styles, especially with the bat. England love to go on the attack straight away and put the opposition under pressure. They don’t like to relent. Meanwhile, India opt to play it safer at the start and then gradually build and make it big. However, the pitch at Lord’s will test players from both camps as both batting line-ups have been a tad vulnerable against the moving ball.

India have been a better bowling side. Not only in this World Cup but in the last few years. Jasprit Bumrah and the two wrist-spinners give this Indian attack the extra edge. Meanwhile, the addition of Jofra Archer and the emergence of a rather injury-free Mark Wood has strengthened the bowling attack. It looks a lot better and moreover, the England bowling attack knows the conditions better than anybody else. Hence, it should be a cracking contest.

Nerves will play as big a role as ability in the big final. Hence, the team that keeps their emotions in check and holds their nerve better will most likely emerge World Champions. India might hold the edge at the start of the final against England.

Winner – India