Australia and New Zealand sitting pretty ~ Cricket Blog - THE COMMENTARY BOX



Saturday, March 31, 2007

Australia and New Zealand sitting pretty

Take one look at the super8 points table and combine what you see with the fact that Australia and New Zealand are still to play Bangladesh and Ireland among their super8 clashes and it becomes clear that the two teams have literally booked a semi-final berth already.

The Australians especially have really outclassed every team they have played against in the World Cup till now. South Africans were a threat to them and they have managed to defeat them quite convincingly. The only other real threat to them seem to be the Kiwis who have been playing delectable and thoroughly professional cricket right through the World Cup and even before that. So, to me, after much talk about an open World Cup, the contenders for the cup are four teams: Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Sri Lanka with the probabilities decreasing in the same order. West Indies, whom I had always been backing for a good performance, have sadly failed to come together. Unfortunately only one Brain Lara isn't good enough to beat a team of 11 solid players and no one else in the team has been firing. Now they have to win all four of their remaining super8 games for a semi-final spot. Highly unlikely.

What I want though is a New Zealand-Australia final. The Autralians' biggest strength is their confidence and surety and that part of their game will be a little low when they face the New Zealanders, thanks to the three back-to-back convincing defeats NZ handed out to them before the World Cup. Will be a cracker a contest. There is already a super8 match between the two teams scheduled on the 20th of April. I am looking forward to that game because that contest could well shape the fate of the World Cup.

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