Group 1 is poised very nicely after Australia’s win over Ireland on Monday. With that victory, Australia is now 2nd in the group with 5 points from 4 matches. Group-toppers New Zealand also has the same number of points but has played a match less.
England, who have 3 points from 3 matches, face the Kiwis in a crucial match at the Gabba, Brisbane, on Tuesday, and their fate will hinge on its outcome. In this article, we are going to try to analyse which teams might qualify for the semifinal from this group:
New Zealand remains the favourite to top the group:
New Zealand has been the most impressive team in the tournament, along with South Africa, and remains the favourite to top the group. They will automatically finish on top if they win their two remaining matches against England and Ireland, respectively.
Even if they lose one of those matches, they still might finish on top because of their superior net run rate, which was bolstered by their emphatic wins over Australia and Sri Lanka in the opening match of Super 12.
New Zealand has had two centurions so far in the form of Devon Conway and Glenn Phillips and has proven new-ball bowlers like Trent Boult and Tim Southee, who have repeatedly made inroads to the top order of their opponents. Add to that the spin-bowling pair of Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner and reliable batters like Darryl Mitchell and Finn Allen, and one has a very balanced side. However, Skipper Kane Williamson’s form is a concern for the Kiwis, and their subsequent opponents will hope that it stays that way.
Australia is likely to consolidate its position further:
Australia has improved their position greatly with their convincing win over Ireland and is likely to bolster their net run rate further in their match against Afghanistan. The Australians will be happy with skipper Aaron Finch’s return to form and also the fact that their pacers, as well as Adam Zampa, are among the wickets.
However, the Aussies will seriously hope that veteran David Warner starts firing from the next match. They will be almost sure of a semifinal berth should New Zealand beat England on Tuesday, but a reverse result will make things a lot more complicated. Still, as of now, Australia remains the second favourite to reach the semifinal from this group.
England will rely on their big hitters and all-rounders:
England has a couple of crunch games coming up, and it will take a marked improvement in their performance as a team to take them to the last four. Their shock defeat against Ireland has jeopardised their position, and the abandonment of their clash with Australia has not helped their cause either.
England’s top-order, which has failed to perform till now, will have to get their act together on the bouncy track of Brisbane against the Kiwis. Strokeplayers like Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes will relish the prospect of playing their shots on a true wicket. However, the English batters must contend with New Zealand’s lethal new-ball duo.
They will face a different challenge when they face the Sri Lankans in Sydney in their last group match. The slower track of Sydney will help the spinner, and Sri Lanka has several of them at their disposal. England’s big hitters like Stokes, Buttler, Livingstone and Moeen Ali will back themselves to clear the ropes against the spinners. All-rounders like Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Stokes and Ali will also slightly tilt the scale in England’s favour against the Lankans.
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