The ICC Cricket World Cup has reached the semi-final stage. India play New Zealand at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on Wednesday, November 14. The following day South Africa take on Australia at Eden Gardens, Kolkata. For those of you looking for online cricket betting tips, here is the key information.
Nine games, nine wins. After their exemplary performance in the group stages, the World Cup is India’s to lose. The hosts have been the Goliath of this tournament, with a top order of relentless quality and a bowling attack that has never failed. However, New Zealand are used to being the David’s of international cricket.
Four years ago, the two teams met at the same stage of the World Cup in England. India were the team heavily favoured by the cricket betting tips but New Zealand pulled off a shock and were only beaten in the final by the barest of margins.
Complacency, expectation and pressure could yet be a problem for India but form going into this game is not. Only four batters have made more than 500 runs in the tournament so far. In Virat Kohli (594) and Rohit Sharma (503), India have half of them. In terms of wickets, the load has been shared between Jasprit Bumrah (17), Mohammed Shami (16), Ravi Jadeja (16), Kuldeep Yadav (14) and Mohammed Siraj (12).
But Bumrah stands out for explosive opening spells that have been going for a miserly 3.65 runs per over. Almost 80 per cent of his deliveries (175 out of 228) in the first powerplay are dots. However, with Hardik Pandya out injured, the only concern is that if one of those five were to break down during the semi-final then India’s make-up bowling would be a huge drop in quality.
In Rachin Ravindra (565), New Zealand have their own 500+ run-scorer. The young left-hander is the find of the tournament but can he perform on the biggest stage? There is batting experience further down the order in Daryl Mitchell and Glenn Phillips but the Blackcaps will need the pace of Trent Boult and guile of Mitchell Santner to make deep inroads into the Indian batting early on.
India have won the last four ODIs between these teams. Their group clash at Dharamsala was relatively close, India won by four wickets with 12 balls left. But at 178-2 after 33 overs in the first innings, New Zealand did at least have the hosts worried.
The best toss prediction by the captain is critical. Batting at the Wankhede Stadium in the twilight is difficult. New Zealand’s best hope is to rattle up a decent score batting first then take early wickets and hope pressure can do the rest.
Australia v South Africa
Heavy rain is forecast for the second semi-final between Australia and South Africa and, therefore, today’s toss prediction will be critical.
If a minimum of 20 overs per side is not possible across the Thursday and the reserve day and the match is a no result, then team that finished higher in the group stage will progress to the final.
The key to the Proteas’ qualification through the groups with seven wins and two defeats has been the batting. Opener Quinton de Kock has four centuries in nine innings. He has been supported by the most explosive middle order in the tournament - Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Aiden Markram and Rassie van der Dussen.
Of the top seven South African run-scorers in the tournament, only van der Dussen has a strike rate under a run per-ball. If rain does shorten the game this will be crucial in answering who will win today’s match.
And, in those circumstances, the toss prediction will be even more critical than usual.
Batting second will be a major advantage. In Gerald Coetzee (18) and Marco Jansen (17), South Africa have two of the highest wicket-takers in the tournament but Australian spinner Adam Zampa is top of that list with 22. However, he suffered badly in the defeat to India, and, like Jansen, his ability to stand up to the pressure will be critical.
Australia started the tournament slowly with defeats to India and South Africa, but they have rattled off seven straight wins since then. In his last World Cup, batter David Warner is one below joining the 500-run club. Their defeat by the Proteas in Lucknow was huge, they were bowled out for 177 and lost by 134 runs.
Since then, a somewhat patchy Australia side have found a way to keep winning, most notably when a record 202-run eighth-wicket stand between Glenn Maxwell and Pat Cummins saw them home against Afghanistan. South Africa’s form is fine but there is still a fear of buckling under pressure. Chasing India’s 326/6 on the same ground as this semi-final, their reply was blown away for just 83.
If you are looking for free cricket betting tips, then go for an India v Australia final. The hosts have looked so strong and serene in their games so far. Belief is sky high for a home victory in the tournament, not just the semi-final.
New Zealand have ability and have shocked the world before but everything must go their way to triumph in Mumbai. Really, the only thing that can stop India from making the final is India and the immense weight of expectation they are under, partly because they have looked just so dominant.
Australia v South Africa is a closer call. But, yet again, the online cricket betting tip centres on mentality. This is a below average but experienced Australian side and an above average and relatively inexperienced South Africa.
In a rain-shortened game, the Proteas may have enough batting firepower to blast a way to victory. Also, the Australian batters have shown a susceptibility to spin, a key weapon when teams look to attack. However, in World Cups, the men from down under have a habit of finding a way to win despite their form while the South Africans have a habit of finding a way to lose.
In both games, the toss prediction will be critical. So will early wickets, the weather and the pressure. Certainly, India will make the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup final, and probably Australia