The cricket world cup started with hosts England thumping South Africa in world cup opener with a massive margin of 104 runs to start their world cup campaign on a high. The world cup got underway on May 30 and will conclude on July 14, with the finals at the iconic Lord’s in London.
England are the firm favourites to lift the trophy, however some experts claim India to be a force to reckon with alongside Australia who are high in confidence after pipping India 3-2 in India and clean sweeping Pakistan 5-0 in United Arab Emirates(UAE). The returning Steve Smith and David Warner will add more strength to the team.
Ajit Agarkar predicts the semi-finalists
The former India International predicted that England, Australia and India will make the last four of the tournament.
“Looks like India, England and Australia at least at this point are the top three out of the four,” Agarkar said.
For the remaining one spot, the Mumbaikar was not certain but picked West Indies to make it through. “The fourth one, just can’t decide. Maybe West Indies,” he said.
Hosts England are the top favourites to win the trophy after they pipped Pakistan 4-0 in the ODI series before the start of the world cup to announce their grand arrival. The three Lions have never won a cricket world cup, a fact which hurts them as they taught the gentlemen’s game to the world. However, with the trend of two home teams winning the world cup at home(India in 2011 and Australia in 2015), England will be eyeing history and finally win their first world championship title.
2015 semi-finalists India will be a tough team to beat and they will be probably counting on MS Dhoni’s experience to win the third world cup trophy. The number four conundrum in the batting line-up has been solved after impressive performance by KL Rahul in the warm-up game against Bangladesh. Kuldeep Yadav, getting back to be amongst the wickets, has given wings to India’s chances.
A resurgent Australia have benefited with the return of Steve Smith and David Warner after serving one year ban following sand paper gate controversy. They look a balanced side and ODI series victory against India and Pakistan is a statement that the defending champions are also in contention for the title.
An unpredictable West Indies have got all the fire power in their batting and bowling department with some big hitters in the ranks. If they manage to perform on a consistent basis, they can pip any team on their day.
Ajit Agarkar’s semi-finalists