The round robin stage of the 2019 Cricket World Cup is complete and the four semi-finalists have been decided! As we correctly predicted in our pre-tournament betting preview, India, Australia, England and New Zealand fought their way into the semis, the first of which will be played on Tuesday night.
India will square off against New Zealand on Tuesday night from 7.30pm in what should be a thrilling contest. We have a full preview and betting tips for the first semi-final below!
Semi-Final, Tuesday, 9th of July, 7.30pm (AEST)
India and New Zealand will do battle in the first semi-final from Old Trafford on Tuesday night before the host nation, England, will face off against Australia in the second semi-final from Edgbaston on Thursday night. The final will be held on Sunday night at the home of cricket, Lord’s.
The No.2 ranked ODI team in the world breezed through the round robin stage, losing only one of their eight completed matches to finish on top of the table. They needed Australia to lose to South Africa on Saturday night and needed to ensure victory over Sri Lanka themselves to claim the top spot and the easier semi-final matchup that comes with it.
Bowling first, they restricted the Sri Lankans to just 7/264 on the back of a brilliant bowling performance from Jasprit Bumrah, who picked up 3/37 off his 10 overs. Ravi Jadeja played just his first game of the ODI World Cup so far and was also impressive with the ball, picking up 1/40 off 10 overs.
Rohit Sharma continued his dominant form with the bat, plundering yet another 100 in the successful Indian run chase. The innings marked the fifth hundred in eight ODI World Cup games for Sharma, and catapulted him to the top of the tournament runscorers list with a ridiculous 647 runs at an average of 92.42. Sharma had a tough series against New Zealand in January this year, scoring just 169 runs at an average of 33.8 but in his current form, you’d have to imagine he’ll get the Indians off to a good start here.
Skipper Virat Kohli hasn’t been relied on too much in the ODI World Cup to date but has barely put a foot wrong in his eight innings. He has racked up four scores over 50 in that period and has scored at least 26 runs in seven of those eight innings. He has quietly amassed 442 runs at an average of 63.14 and looks ready to play a match winning innings in either the semi or the final.
What India choose to do with their bowling unit remains a massive question mark. They have played a variety of different bowling attacks in the eight games so far and threw another spanner in the works on Saturday night by selecting Ravi Jadeja to play for the first time. We think it’s likely that Jadeja gets another crack in the semi-final after a strong bowling performance against Sri Lanka, he also adds plenty with the bat whether they slot him in at seven OR eight.
The Kiwis got their World Cup campaign off to a flying start, winning their first five completed games. They were quite fortunate with their schedule, having five of the easier teams in the competition in their first six games, and having the tough match against India rained out. They lost their last three matches of the tournament to Pakistan, Australia and England to finish fourth on the round robin table.
The opening partnership for New Zealand remains a massive issue. Henry Nicholls has started in place of Colin Munro for the last two games now but with two poor perforamances in a row, we could see Munro come back into the side for the semi-final. Martin Guptill has had a tournament to forget but is capable of winning a game off his own bat and has been dismissed in some unlucky ways so far.
The New Zealand innings will most likely rely on the key partnership between No.3 and 4, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor. Williamson has been outstanding in the tournament so far but has rarely gotten any help from the other star batsman on the team. Taylor will need to prove why he is the No.3 rated ODI batsman in the world if New Zealand have any hopes of advancing here.
The bowling attack for New Zealand looks a little more solid than the batting. Trent Boult is without a doubt one of the best fast bowlers in limited overs cricket and while Tim Southee has played just one match in the tournament so far, his match-winning ability should see him picked over Matt Henry. Lockie Ferguson has been the Black Caps best bowler in the tournament and will need to be good throughout the middle overs for NZ. Mitch Santner, Colin de Grandhomme and James Neesham make up an above average part time trio.
India start as heavy favourites here and it’s hard to look past them given both teams form of late. India suffered a slight hiccup against England last week but New Zealand’s batting line-up just isn’t capable of performing the way England’s did that night, especially against an Indian bowling attack that is on top of their game at the moment.
We think the Black Caps have to be at their very best to score over 280 here, likely including a big score from opener Martin Guptill, which just hasn’t happened this tournament to date. Even if they do put up a score closer to 300, their bowling attack has to be on from ball one to defend that against a rampant Rohit Sharma who has made bowling units look second rate in the World Cup.
Can’t see India losing this one.
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