Yes, we all are excited about the 2019 Cricket World Cup. It is undoubtedly the biggest event for Cricket lovers, which is going to be held in England and Wales this time around. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since the last World Cup. All the teams have witnessed a makeover, and every team has gone through a transition of its own.
Some of the sides have tasted a lot of success, with a number of youngsters putting their hands up to make it to the probable World Cup squad. On the other hand, quite a few teams have battled hard after losing some of their key players to retirement and other unwanted events. I have come up with the list of top 4 contenders, who I think is likely to make it to the Semi-Finals.
Here is my list of Semi-Finalists:
- England: I don’t think there is much doubt about the potential of English players in white-ball cricket, especially in their own conditions. We have seen a ‘New England” step on the field since their early exit in the 2015 World Cup. They have a sorted opening combination with Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow going all guns blazing. The middle-order boasts of players like Root, Morgan, Butler, and Stokes, who can win the matches single-handedly. They have a decent spin duo in Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid, along with the battery that includes Liam Plunkett, David Willey, Chris Woakes and Chris Jordan. For me, they’re certainly going to play the semifinals.
- India: Just like England, the Indian team also looks settled and in-form, at this point of time. They have had issues in their middle order and the inability of tail-enders to contribute in the crunch games. But, the middle order has come good in the series against Australia and New Zealand, with the like of MS Dhoni and Ambati Rayudu putting all the doubts to rest. The tail has also looked better with Hardik Pandya coming at 7 and Ravindra Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar Kumar to follow. Indian’s lethal bowling attack and the form of top 3 batters makes them a force to reckon with. The momentum is on their side as well. With an able leader in Virat Kohli, I can see them walking into the top 4.
- Pakistan: My third semifinalist may raise a few eyebrows, but the unpredictable nature of Pakistan makes them as dangerous as other top teams in the world. The fact that they won the Champions Trophy in England last year, only adds to the advantage of the Men in Green. Their bowling seems to be suited to the conditions with the trio of Mohd Amir, Hasan Ali and Shaheen Afridi capable of making the ball talk. With an in-form opener in Imam-ul-Haq and the dangerous Fakhar Zaman to partner him, Pakistan’s opening combination has the potential to lay a decent foundation. With a mixture of youth and experience, the middle order consists of capable batsmen like Babar Azam, Mohd Hafeez and Shoaib Malik. The long batting line-up consisting of all-rounders like Shadab Khan and Imad Wasim can help Pakistan take down any opposition on their day.
- Australia: My list of contenders may seem to be different, but I have given it a lot of thought before finalizing the top 4. The reason why I have picked Australia is their history and the instinct to fight till the end. With the return of Steve Smith and David Warner, the opening conundrum and the instability of the middle order will not pose any questions. Australia also has other quality players in their batting line-up. Experienced Shaun Marsh and power hitters like Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis make Kangaroos strong contenders for the Semi’s. The bowling department also seems settled with the likes of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Jhye Richardson and Nathan Lyon sharing the honors.
This is my list of top 4 contenders for the Cricket World Cup 2019. There are capable teams like New Zealand and South Africa, who have the potential to topple the teams listed by me. If you think you can come up with better Semi-Finalists, place your comment in the section below.
Also check out our guess for this years Team India line up.