World Cup Semi-Final
CARDIFF, WALES - JUNE 08: Eoin Morgan of England during the Group Stage match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 between England and Bangladesh at Cardiff Wales Stadium on June 08, 2019 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

Who will make the World Cup semi-finals?

The 2019 Cricket World Cup is underway in England and Wales with the international game’s top teams battling it out for a place in the semi-finals. With England at home, the number one ranked team is rightly considered the favourite to lift the trophy but who might join them in the last four?

England

The bookies favourites to win the Cricket World Cup 2019, there will be some serious questions asked if Eoin Morgan’s men don’t at least reach the final. That’s because they have the advantage of being at home (their players can even go back to their families during off-days while everyone else is travelling between hotels) which also brings the benefit of late spring/early summer conditions and grounds the players know very well. With the likes of Jos Buttler and Jason Roy, they have two of the most destructive batsmen in world cricket complemented by the brilliant all-rounder Ben Stokes, the guile of England test captain Joe Root, and the fact, throughout their batting 11, there are very few weaknesses. It means England keep coming at you which has seen the national team post 4 of the 5 highest one-day totals since 2015.

India

Thanks to the box office appeal of the Indian Premier League (IPL), India’s players are genuine superstars at home. In the country where cricket dominates spectator sport it’s no surprise some of the most famous people are cricketers (such as legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar). Indeed, India’s captain Virat Kohli is estimated to be the game’s highest paid player while, unsurprisingly, one of the most popular slots games in the country is Cricket Star (which you can currently play with free spins via free-spins.org/en-ca/) that understandably features an Indian bowler as one of its winning symbols. As well as making them celebrities at home, the IPL has also helped develop some of the white ball game’s most prodigious talents with the subcontinent nation boasting a well-balanced bowling attack (the guile of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the pace and death bowling of Jasprit Bumrah, the spin of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav) with some powerful batting (led by openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan).

Australia & West Indies

The other two teams who should make the semi-finals are frequent World Cup champions Australia and the dark horse of the competition, the West Indies. Australia know how to win, the team has triumphed in four of the last five World Cups while the West Indies boast an array of young, if unpredictable talent, that could light up this year’s event. Both team’s strengths are their bowling attacks: fast, uncompromising, powerful bowlers who will trouble most teams. If the pitches offer little swing and sideways movement, pace may well be the key to restricting batting teams through a constant wicket-taking threat with Australia’s Mitchell Starc and the West Indies’ Oshane Thomas being the stand outs.

You’ve got to point to England as being almost guaranteed a place in the last four given the team’s performances over the last few years. Their number one ranking is no fluke and with it being a “home” World Cup, there’s not only an advantage but a real incentive to lift the trophy in 2019.

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