World Cup

Who will be the Champions of Cricket World Cup 2019?

You can call this article my thoughts on how this World Cup could turn out.

Or, you may also call it as my deductions from the first few games of the world cup and the warm-up games.

And, I believe, these are going to be the key values that the teams should adopt with the course of the tournament.

To be honest, I personally, am a big fan of a Round-Robin format in any game. Let it be the domestic t20 tournaments or the football leagues.

I feel it is conventional to allow each team to face every other team in the tournament, before choosing the top 4 or so.

You should read my complete article on ” World Cup 2019 – Everything you need to know” for the tournament’s format structure and other details.

Having said that, it is also true that ‘longer the tournament gets rolled, the more it creates a pattern’.

This writing is more about those patterns in this World Cup and how any team should adapt to it to reach the top 4.

Maybe it is too early to read, but I thought I would write and let them be open for you to discuss and alter if required.

And, I have used the instances from the tournament opener – England vs South Africa throughout this article to prove my points. And yes, you can relate it to any other matches in the tournament too.

Let it start!

 

1. 300 is the new 200

The games have gone in both ways in the 1st two weeks of the tournament. We have seen teams scoring in bulk and also, teams restricted under 150 few times.

But one thing that strikes me hard is the way how the 300+ run chases have become relatively easy in the players’ mind.

For instance, in the first match of the tournament where South Africa got defeated in hands of the hosts England, I was strangely confused on how the commentators tagged the target of 312.

It was a unanimous acceptance from the fans, commentators and the South African players themselves that the total of 312 is happily chasable.

However, South Africa didn’t make it, thanks to their batsmen’s poor selection of shots and lack of awareness in reading the game. But I am sure that one good partnership would have taken them across.

Now, coming back to my point, when people were asking about the first 500 score in ODIs, I see the downside of it as 300s have become too easy to achieve in One-day cricket.

Not sure, whether it is a good or bad thing, but it shows how hard it is now to be a bowler in International cricket.

Having said that, I see the teams that are consistently scoring 350+ as the favourites of the game. In that way, England and India, have started the tournament really well.

 

2. Converting the half chances while fielding is going to be critical!

Referring to the tournament opener once again, I see the catches taken by Aiden Markram and Faf Du Plessis to dismiss Eoin Morgan and Moeen Ali respectively, as the half chances that South African fielders optimised in their favour.

And that helped them restrict England to a chasable 1st Innings score, which is 311 (still can’t digest).

Having said that, England could have scored their usual 350+ or their almost frequent 400 on board, if not for those half chances righty converted.

On the contrary, the missed catches and the sloppy fielding of Pakistani players have cost them their game against Australia. Australia was able to score 300+ which they could defend with ease in Taunton’s overcast condition.

Even Virat Kohli mentioned this point of how crucial the half chances in fielding are going to be, before the start of the tournament.

So, it will be the teams that are less effective in the field might start as my non-favourites in the tournament.

ENGLAND vs SOUTH AFRICA 1st Match World Cup 2019
ENGLAND vs SOUTH AFRICA – 1st Match World Cup 2019

 

3. Real Battle is in the middle overs

So what went wrong for South Africa that hasn’t for England in the 1st game?

Clearly, it is the middle overs!

From Overs 20 to 35,

England lost no wickets scoring around 100 runs, and

South Africa lost 5 wickets and the remaining within the next 5 Overs.

The partnership of Morgan-Stokes is one high point in England’s innings, and so did the Dhoni-Rahul partnership for India in the warm-up game against Bangladesh.

Also, in the game against Australia, Virat Kohli played the anchor role in the middle overs and his partnership with Shikhar Dhawan and Hardik Pandya paved the way for the final over demolition by Dhoni and Rahul.

India beat South Africa in 2019 World Cup
India beat South Africa in 2019 World Cup Group stage game

Another recent example is how Pakistani batsmen collapsed in the middle overs in the chase against Australia, even when the required rate was at their reach.

Well, the teams should understand that the middle overs are going to be extremely critical.

Almost every team have their attacking opening duos and the strength to let it out in the slog overs.

But, however good, a start a team gets, it needs a solid middle overs to take it to the slog overs.

And, that’s why I bet on the teams which are ready to sit in through those boring phase of the innings, to win matches and stay top.

In that way, I see South Africa is losing games often in the middle and they will have to correct it if they are going to challenge for the top 4.

Once again, it is India and England (Australia to an extent), who stands out in the middle overs of their games and rightfully are the favourites!

 

4. Tosses win Matches

The one pattern which I always hate in cricket is the effect of Toss in the game’s results.

But, it is also one of the things that cannot be written off from cricket, especially in England.

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With the global reach of the game itself, the term home-team advantage is already dipping, and thanks to the t20 leagues and the over-scheduling of top teams facing each other a lot, the conditions are open for anybody to learn.

Now that makes the captains’ decision very easy when they win the toss.

And, that might spoil the fun for the viewers, when two equally balanced teams play each other, before even the start of the game.

So, I believe, it is also the luck part that will decide the winners of the game, and the champion of World Cup 2019 too!

 

Wrapping it up

Banking on the first 3 points I have mentioned, I see the teams England and India are the favourites in winning the Cricket World Cup 2019.

Especially their batting line-up is a dope, which is complemented well by their bowlers and the fielders.

Here is one of my tweet on it on English Batting line-up:

 

So, that went well! (Hopefully for you too)

These are just my presumptions and I would love hearing yours too in the comment section.

Also, you can write to me on my Twitter page directly.

 

Most Importantly, share this article, if you believe it is worth sharing!

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