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A Passion for Cricket: Predictions for The World Cup Trophy

Cricket+equipment+that+is+similar+to+the+equipment+used+in+the+ICC+World+Cup.+
STELLA WONG ’25
Cricket equipment that is similar to the equipment used in the ICC World Cup.

The ICC Cricket World Cup is finally here, four long years since the English triumphed. This time no one is backing out, and every team has a case to make. Greatness can be achieved by lifting this monumental trophy. We saw Eoin Morgan’s men lift the coveted prize four years ago at the Lord’s Cricket Ground, the Home of Cricket. Now the tournament shifts venues to the gullies of India, where the great game continues to rage on. Who will take home this beautiful trophy?

Predictions:

We predict the top four to be India, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand.

India has played outstanding cricket so far defeating teams by huge unprecedented margins in the World Cup. South Africa has crushed many teams while batting first, scoring huge totals, and having a huge net run rate that other teams do not possess. Australia, the five-time world champions, has played champion cricket coming back in their next four games. Finally, although Pakistan has been playing some solid cricket, we predict New Zealand to qualify due to the net run rate difference between themselves and Pakistan.

India

The hosts of this World Cup have stayed unbeaten in their first six games. Their batting has been strong throughout the tournament. Team captain Rohit Sharma and former captain Virat Kohli have found form just as the World Cup began, heroically lifting their teams to crucial victories. Moreover, India’s bowling has been a masterclass with Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammad Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohammed Shami– whose surprise selection has been pivotal to India’s success. The fielding of the Indian team has been good in the tournament, but concerns with dropped catches still remain. The Indians let down four catches against New Zealand, but Shami’s death bowling masterclass came to the rescue. Will the Indians continue to dominate?

South Africa

The South African team has been a treat to watch this World Cup. Coming in as an underrated side, they have demolished bowling attacks, courtesy of brilliant batting. Henrich Klassen has shown phenomenal power-hitting and sangfroid to bolster his team. Quinton de Kock has been phenomenal with three World Cup centuries. Markram and the middle order have supported them too. Their bowling has been good with the likes of Rabada, Ngidi, and Maharaj coming into the action; however, their main issue has been chasing. Chasing sub-par totals in both matches, they failed against the Netherlands in an easy Delhi pitch, and barely got through Pakistan with just one wicket. With a semi-final almost in sight, will the South Africans defy odds and lift the coveted trophy for the first time?

Australia

After a disappointing start to the World Cup, the five-time champions have come back brilliantly. Thumping defeats to India and South Africa courtesy of horrible fielding, sluggish bowling, and disappointing batting; the champions had to rectify their mistakes. They turned the tables, with outstanding middle-order batting performances by Maxwell and Inglis. Adam Zampa has shined, becoming the leading wicket-taker with sixteen wickets. Questions remain though, with the stagnant forms of both world-class batsman Smith and Labuschagne. The Aussies rest at number four. But with stern competition from Afghanistan, who is looking for its ticket to the semi-final, how they will capitalize on their remaining games is a key question.

New Zealand

Usually known as the dark horses of every World Cup, 2019’s finalists have started with a blast. Their top order has been top tier with Ravindra and Mitchell dominating the batting. Their middle-order has struggled against teams like India, but they have made up for poor performances with their bowling. Santner has been the spin wizard for them playing a pivotal role with the most wickets for New Zealand. Tim Southee will be missed, but Henry has made sure that New Zealand gets off to a good start. However, their top order and middle order struggled against India and Australia, respectively. If they are to get into the knockouts, they will need to glue and play their remaining matches as a unit. With new-found brilliance in the top order, an in-form middle order, top-tier bowling will New Zealand finally be world champions?

England

The defending champions have not played like champions this World Cup. With the bat, the ball, and the field England has been atrocious. Their open partnerships have been disastrous, with Johnny Bairstow out of nick. And, their world-class batsmen Butler and Root have not yet flaunted their true capabilities. The England middle order has suffered the most. All-rounders have not found things easy, especially with changes being made to the middle order every game. Their bowling has been out of sorts, with Reece Topley picking up an injury and Willey being too expensive. The bowling has been hammered by multiple teams, with Rashid being the only bowler to shine thus far. Their issue with their team set up is just like the West Indies: They have too much T20 instinct. Furthermore, their batting has been focused on power-hitting too much, which is ineffective for playing an ODI (one day international). With a champions trophy qualification at stake, how will England turn the tables?

Pakistan

The Pakistan team has had a subpar World Cup at best. Coming in from a disappointing Asia Cup, Mohammad Rizwan looked in the form of his life with a record-breaking win over Sri Lanka. The issues began from there, as an unstabilized top-order, overreliance on Rizwan, and inconsistent performances had been the story of the Pakistani batting for the next four games. After these games, Pakistan came back brilliantly with a win over Bangladesh, courtesy of outstanding bowling performances by their pace trio of Wasim, Shaheen, and Rauf. Can Pakistan squeeze their way to a semi-final ticket?

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About the Contributor
STELLA WONG ’25
STELLA WONG ’25, Editor-in-Chief

Stella Wong is currently a junior and the editor-in-chief of the sports and op/ed columns of The Eagle’s Eye. In addition to the newspaper, Stella indulges herself in other extracurriculars like student council, orchestra, and Chinese Cultural Club. Besides school, you can find Stella ice skating, traveling and exploring new places, and taking film pictures!

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