Cricket World Cup: Time for the predictable to get unpredictable
The Gang of Four show they are a class apart as they all cruise to the semis.
At the start of this World Cup four teams stood out from the rest and Australia, India, New Zealand and South Africa duly obliged by not only all reaching the semi finals, but by doing so in such a convincing manner.
India and New Zealand won by 109 and 143 runs respectively, while Australia and South Africa won with 16 and 32 overs remaining. In Test terms these wins are the equivalent of an innings victory. Complete annihilation.
The losing quarter finalists Sri Lanka, Pakistan, West Indies and Bangladesh can all beat teams on their day, however they were vanquished by sides that can beat quality opposition day in, day out. In the quarter finals, the Gang of Four all scored quicker than a run a ball, the new basic requirement for 50 over cricket, and they all bowled the opposition out. Complete domination.
So who will get through to the final?
New Zealand versus South Africa pits the most consistent team against the most inconsistent. South Africa have two of the best three ODI batsmen in the world in AB De Villiers and Hashim Amla as well as Dale Steyn, arguably the best bowler in the world. If they perform at their best, South Africa will probably win. Anything less than their best and the World Cup's best captain, Brendon McCullum, will lead his tight knit team to the final.
Australia against India is the Clash of the Titans. The top two ODI teams in the world meet at the SCG. India are unbeaten and have a destructive batting line up, but Australia have the ability to take early wickets. Therefore, if India can get through the opening spell of Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood with nine or 10 wickets intact, they should go on and win.
Am I confident of those predictions? Not at all, because the time has come for the predictable to become impossible to predict.
Who will win the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup?