As the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup draws to a close, pundits and fans want the answer to a really simple question. Who will win the world Cup? The business end, as many put it, usually draws predictions from almost everyone.
Disclaimer: This is the World Cup Prediction in my opinion. If your opinion reflects anything different, you are welcome to share it in the comments below.
Semifinal 1: New Zealand vs South Africa
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Date: March 24, 2015
Predicted Winner: New Zealand
The pros for New Zealand include their brilliance with both bat and ball. Martin Guptill’s record breaking 237 against West Indies, in the quarter final, saw New Zealand cruise to the semi final. Skipper Brendon McCullum, on the other hand, has been perhaps the most destructive batsman in the tournament so far. Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Adam Milne have been impeccable with the ball. With all parts of their line-up clicking, it is certainly hard to find a weak spot in the Black Caps.
It has been a turbulent World Cup thus far for AB de Villiers’ men. While they have lost to Asian giants Pakistan and India, the South Africans have managed to bag totals in excess of 400, twice! A.B de Villiers, Imran Tahir and Dale Steyn will be key to the fortunes of the Proteas, when they take on New Zealand in the semi final.
A feisty encounter is on the cards as co hosts New Zealand and South Africa face off at Eden Park. It will be a hard result to call, but one can agree that it may probably be in favour of the New Zealand.
Semifinal 2: India vs Australia
Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney
Date: March 26, 2015
Predicted Winner: Australia
The most recent history between India and Australia has produced results in favour of the latter. As a result, it is rather safe to say that Australia will be clear favourites. However, impressive performances in this World Cup have seen MS Dhoni and his men pick up 70 wickets in the seven games they have played thus far. While the batting and bowling have clicked alright for the Men in Blue, Australia pose a threat of their own. Mitchell Starc has been on fire, extracting swing at 150 kmph. Steven Smith and Glenn Maxwell have been key to Australia’s bating performances and have played a big part in their march to the semifinals.
Sourav Ganguly has said that it would be 50-50 between India and Australia. However, given the results in the recent past and the in the venue, it would not be unjust to hand Australia the slender advantage.
2015 ICC Cricket World Cup Final: Australia vs New Zealand
Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne
Date: March 29, 2015
Predicted Winner: Australia
The million dollar question is perhaps who will eventually win the World Cup? Assuming that the two hosts face each other once more, Australia will hold all the cards.
Things, though, may turn out quite differently if the Gentleman’s Game has its way in the next few days. India, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand are still alive in the fight for supremacy – and the Cricket World Cup 2015 is all set to reach a stunning climax on Sunday!