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.
India started their world cup campaign on a positive note after they pipped a determined South Africa in their world cup opener by 6 wickets. They next pipped a much fancied and top contenders- Australia in their next clash by 36 runs to take two wins in as many matches. Their third game against New Zealand was washed off due to rain in Nottingham. In the biggest rivalry of world cricket, India faced Pakistan in their fourth fixture and they pipped the Sarfaraz Ahmed led team by a huge margin of 89 runs to take a lead of 7-0 against men in green in the world cup history.
Defending champions Australia started their campaign against minnows Afghanistan and emerged victorious by 7 wickets. They next thumped a dangerous looking West Indies by 15 runs but lost their third match to India by 36 runs. They followed it up with a win against Pakistan and Sri Lanka by 41 and 87 runs respectively.
Hosts England announced their arrival in style by defeating South Africa by 104 runs. They were the overwhelming favourites against Pakistan but the men in green had some other ideas as they put up a score of 348 runs which England failed to chase in their quota of 50 overs, losing the match by 14 runs. England pipped Bangladesh by 106 runs in their third world cup game. They were good enough to win against Bangladesh and West Indies by 106 runs and 8 wickets respectively.
Former Australia captain Steve Waugh predicts the semi-finalists
The 54-year-old predicts that his home side- Australia will continue their impressive run and make their second consecutive world cup semi-final. He further picked India, New Zealand and hosts England to make the last four of the tournament.
“Each of these teams will be fine tuning and gathering impetus and knowledge before a final week where they only need to win two games to stand aloft. It could come down to one individual who leaves his mark and creates a legacy for himself and his tea,” Waugh told ICC.
“Australia have enough ammunition to do this but so do the other contenders. It will be enthralling to watch and I can’t wait,” he added.