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The Cracking World Cup Semifinals Promise To Have Sheer Entertainment

March 23, 2015

AB,MSD,BMac,Pup

5 weeks have elapsed as we are down to the final lap of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 where the top 4 teams will be battling for the championship. We will have to wait for 7 more days to find out the answer of what is a million dollar question right now. One thing is for sure that the four most deserving teams have found their way to the semifinals. It is no surprise to see the joint hosts along with South Africa occupying 3 out of the 4 berths for the semis. But almost everyone has been taken by surprise with the way the defending champions have announced themselves in this tournament. From the first match they have looked as one the two most accomplished sides of the tournament if not the best. So right now there is hardly anything to choose between the pair of teams from the two semifinals.

Not many matches in this world cup have really gone down to the wire. This is one of the things that I have mentioned in my previous post too, apart from a few matches between the associates most have ended up being one sided. All the 4 quarter finals could only take this tradition forward. I have never seen Sri Lanka to put their weapons down during the knockout stage as they did here against South Africa. Bangladesh and Pakistan although showed some signs of fight, but at the end they were defeated comprehensively by India and Australia respectively. On the other hand we clearly saw why West Indies are only a good T20 team these days. They might have scored 250 runs at a brisk pace, but while doing so they forgot the basics. In order to give themselves any chance they should have looked to bat till the end, but they could not even manage to last 31 overs.

As the four best teams have progressed to the semifinals, now we should get to see a top class display of contest between the teams. New Zealand will take on South Africa where they will once again enjoy the Eden Park familiarity. If you see both the teams, although South Africa looks the more dangerous of the two sides, but with the kind of rhythm New Zealand are in, it will never be easy to beat them. I see this match as a duel between the Kiwi bowling and the South African batting. New Zealand have been firing all cylinders with the ball, whereas South African batsmen hitting the balls out of the park in this tournament. However in the last match the counterpart departments for both the teams have shown what they are capable of doing. South Africa will be desperate to get off the “chokers” title. They have suffered a couple of defeats in this world cup, which doesn’t happen with them often. What happens is that only one bad day at the knockout stage kicks them out of the tournament. This time however the story has been a little different for them. Can they end up the tournament in a different manner? For that they have to play really well against New Zealand who will also be looking to seal their tickets to Australia for Sunday. But whoever wins here, we will get to see the world cup final debut for one of these two teams.

If one match is the battle of teams who are yet to take part in a world cup final, the other is between the two who have played the most of it. An Indo-Aussie encounter may well have been the dream final of this ICC Cricket World Cup, but unfortunately the clash in the semis will deny either of the two teams. From Australia’s point of view it’s going to be an iconic platform. Last time Australia were the defending champions, India were the hosts and we all remember what happened. But this time it is just the opposite face of the dice. Can Australia dethrone the Kings in front of the SCG crowd? They haven’t lost a single 50-over match against India since the Rohit Sharma epic in Bangalore 16 months ago. They would love to carry their streak for one more match. India on the other hand, have not lost a single match in this tournament as yet. They will have to be careful about they don’t get choked when it matters the most. From their perspective it will be important for them to bowl the right channel against the Aussies. These days we have the technology and I have no doubt that the Indian bowlers have been repeatedly shown the video analysis of the spells from Wahab Riaz and Trent Boult against Australia. Indian bowlers have been superb throughout the tournament and so has been the captaincy of their skipper. Being one of the very few survivors from India’s last world cup team MS Dhoni knows the best on how to deal with the knockout stage pressure.

From here to move one more step towards the championship the teams will have to go past their previous performances. A semifinal is the hardest match to win and they need make sure that they are at the top of their game just at the right time. This world cup is yet to see the best from a few players from all 4 teams. In case of Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson we can’t doubt their form, but having big runs under the belt is something what any player would enjoy. It is important for their team that they score big runs in these highly electrifying games. In addition to this, if the likes of Rohit Sharma, Hashim Amla and Aaron Finch have saved their best for the last then we can’t ask for any better entertainment for the remainder of the tournament. Heavyweights like Johnson and Steyn will also be pumped up. I just can’t wait for this great battle of top class players to begin.

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