The article speaks about the chances of India and New Zealand defeating Australia and South Africa in the World Cup semi-finals. Both of the teams did not lose any match and are expected to start as favourites.
The best four teams in the World Cup 2015 had gone to the Semi-finals. While India take on Australia, New Zealand take on South Africa.
India and New Zealand have the great record of not losing one single match in the World Cup 2015. New Zealand is favourites against South Africa. There are a number of reasons for that. Firstly New Zealand has a number of match-winners in the team. Guptill had also proved that he has the skills of scoring a double century.
His innings of 237 runs opposite West Indies is the best innings in the World Cup so far.
Brendon Mccullum is capable of playing devastating innings. He does not have an average above 30 runs. But his explosive 50 to 60 runs can set the tune of the innings. Williamson and Anderson are in terrific form. Ross Taylor is not in form. But it will not matter a lot. Williamson had been consistent all across the tournament. Even Ross Taylor had contributed with 40 to 50 runs by rotating strikes in matches where the other agressive batsmen like McCullum or Guptill went after the bowlers. After India New Zealand has the best batting line up in the world.
The fielding of New Zealand is amazing. The one handed catch of Daniel Vettori in the match against West Indies is the best catch taken in the entire World Cup.Fielding of South Africa are equally brilliant. Dale Steyn took a stunning catch in the group matches. De Villiers, Duminy and Duplessis are excellent fielders.
The bowling of New Zealand had been excellent. Trent Boult had been the best bowler of the world cup. His left arm action had created a lot of problems for great batsmen. He is required to perform well against South Africa. He has the capability of making inroads into the South African opening line up. Southee had been consistent and has promise. Even Milne did well in the group matches. In the area of spin Daniel Vettori is the best spinner in this world cup. With his huge experience and over 300 wickets he is a threat. The best bet for opposition teams is to play out the first 12 overs of Boult and Southee. If South Africa can retain wickets they can attack in the middle overs.
As far as South Africa is concerned the team seriously depends on AB De Villiers. He has been a sensation. He had batted expressly and can play unorthodox shots. But South Africa’s opening batsmen did not perform to potential. Hashim Amla batted well in bits and pieces but De Cock had been failure. Even Duplessis had underperformed in this world cup. South Africa heavily relies on the middle order batsmen Duminy and Miller. Miller is capable of playing quick fire 50 but his batting is just like Maxwell. There is not guarantee that he will do well. He can fail also. If they have to show their skills the semi-final is the idol stage.
South Africa’s fast bowling was considered to be the best before the World cup began. But Steyn and Morkell till now had not performed to their reputation. Morkel is the tallest fast bowler of South Africa and is expected to extract a lot of bounce. Abbot and Philander are the other bowlers and it is interesting to see who gets the chance in the semi-final. As far as Dale Steyn was considered he was considered to be the best fast bowler. But to everyone's amazement he did not break through the opening batting of different teams and his swing bowling had not created problems. He had been economical but not deadly. Imran Tahir had got a lot of wickets with his spin, but New Zealand are good players of spin and it is interesting to see how New Zealand play South Africa in the middle-overs.
India is favourite opposite Australia in the other semi-finals. India had been amazing. The bowling did click. Mohammad Shami had been the best of the lot and took wickets at regular intervals in all the matches. Umesh Yadav and Mohit Sharma had ably supported him. The opening bowlers had really created a mark. Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin did not do a great job but can contain the Australian batsmen.
India’s fielding had been equally excellent. Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ajinkya Rahane are excellent fielders and proved their worth in this World Cup. Batting wise every batsmen in the Indian team performed. Sometimes Shikhar Dhawan won India matches, sometimes Rohit Sharma played match winning innings, in the other cases it was MS Dhoni or Virat Kohli or Suresh Raina or Ajinkya Rahane. The biggest thing about Indian batsmen in this world cup had been the capability to sustain against the other teams in different circumstances. There were matches where Rohit Sharma or Virat Kohli were dismissed at the beggining. But the middle order including Ajinkya Rahane and Suresh Raina played well. There were other matches where Shikhar Dhawan scored century and wickets fell at the other end. That also did not make a difference. Indian batting had been the best.
Australian batsmen did a great job including Warner, Clarke, Maxwell and Smith. Finch played well in some matches and flopped in the others. In the match against India the batting will be tested. But India will be tested also by the Australian fast bowlers. Mitchelle Starc had been the best left arm fast bowlers in the entire World Cup. His deadly spell opoosite New Zealand in the pool matches had the wickets rattling to different directions. He can show his heroism against India also in the semi-finals. Cummins and Hazzlewood are equally capable of bowling brilliant spells. Johnson had not bowled to his reputation. But the semi-finals are left. May be he will rise up to the occassion in the semi-finals. The only weak zone of Australian bowling includes the spin attack of Maxwell and medium pace of Watson. India has to target those overs.
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