After more than five weeks, 45 games and numerous outstanding performances with both the bat and the ball, the four semi-finalists were confirmed for the 2019 Men’s Cricket World Cup.
At first glance, the first four teams are as expected – with India, Australia, England and New Zealand participating in the tournament, the best four-day international teams in the world will be scored.
But as the host England can attest, the trip to the knockout stages was not a breeze for all teams who still have to fight for the title defense. Australia will now continue defending their 2015 crown against England in Edgbaston, while India will face Old Trafford in the second semi-final against New Zealand.
And with the race for the Lords tournament figurehead coming to an end on July 14th, let’s take a look at the World Cup records for the four teams still fighting for silver.
Semi-final 1️⃣ – India v New Zealand— ICC (@ICC) July 7, 2019
Semifinal 2️⃣ – Australia v England
Final: SF1 winner v SF2 winner
Champion: ________ 🏆
Fill in the blanks 😉 #CWC19 pic.twitter.com/iq0bkIZYgs
Being one of the favorites can put a heavy strain on some – but India has not shown any signs of pressure when it heads the table after round-robin testing. The men in blue have won seven of their nine games to reach the summit. The defeat against host England was the only blot in their record after a total defeat to New Zealand.
A seventh World Cup semi-final is the reward for their consistency and they will be able to capitalize on their opportunities with skippers like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah. They only have to return to 2015 for the last time when India was in the final, before falling to the penultimate hurdle this year, when it was beaten by eventual champion Australia.
They dropped out of the tournament in 1987 and 1996 after losing to England and Sri Lanka in 1983 and 2011. Of the three finals that they have contested, however, India has only won runners. once on. They will also hope that the omens are good, having also won their first World Cup on English soil.
England, which hosted the tournament as the number one ODI player in the world, had to work hard to win the first men’s World Cup. The first goal of reaching the semi-finals for the first time since 1992, however, was achieved, even if a few nerve-wracking moments were on the way.
The troops of Eoin Morgan prevailed in the last two games against India and New Zealand and finished fourth. Throughout the group stage they reached six wins after nine games. And while it’s been 27 years since they last played in the semi-finals of the World Cup, England has already gained much experience in the early stages of the competition to reach this stage.
England made it to the semifinals in the first five editions of the tournament, only to challenge them in 1975 and 1983 – both times as hosts. But when they reached the finals – 1979, 1987 and 1992 – England took second place in the West Indies, Australia and Pakistan. This time the hosts hope for their fourth luck.
New Zealand Team:
For New Zealand, the round robin phase could be divided into almost two stages, which eventually qualified for the knockout round with five wins from their nine games. But that only tells a part of the story. The BlackCaps were undefeated after the first six games. The game against India on Trent Bridge was the only point they lost.
Three defeats after the last three games left the semi-final for a short time just to save Kane Williamson’s side, who had Pakistan at the back. New Zealand, like England, have never won the World Cup, although they certainly had a lot of missed chances after having played seven semi-finals before.
Of these seven appearances in the last four, however, the BlackCaps have only once reached the figurehead of the competition – 2015, when they were beaten by co-hosts Australia. New Zealand will feel fresh in the face of disappointment over this defeat four years ago.
Although Aaron Finch and his men came to England as defending champions, they were in the unfamiliar position of not being considered the frontrunner for the title. With much of the pre-tournament hype centered around hosts England and India, many saw Australia as one side still in transition when they came under the radar.
But if the history of the World Cup has taught us anything, it’s Australia that’s the first team to qualify for the 2019 knockout round. The five-time World Champions contest the semi-finals for the eighth time, knowing that if they have reached the last four in the past, they never missed the final.
With five World Cup wins from eleven games, including a hat-trick with victories between 1999 and 2007, they undoubtedly have the best pedigree of the teams remaining in the competition. Finch now has the opportunity to join the illustrious names of Allan Border, Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke, and lead Australia to world champion. Do not bet against it.