ICC ODI World Cup 2023 warm-up matches are underway. Teams are finalizing their combinations and viewing how the pitch and weather conditions are playing out. The global cricketing phenomenon starts on October 5, 2023, with New Zealand and England locking horns once.
Experts have, meanwhile, picked their top teams for the final and semi-finals. Sunil Gavaskar sees England defending their title. They beat New Zealand in the 2019 World Cup in the Super Over. Chances are, they will stand tall on their record to clinch the title for the second time. Strengthening this claim is Sunil’s belief that England has one of the best top 3-4 batters. Moreover, their bowling line-up adds to this muscle, coupled with world-class all-rounders.
Irfan Pathan has played his favorites with the hosts. India last won the tournament in 2011 while hosting it. Pathan has based his statement on the kind of form that ICT is taking after winning the Asia Cup 2023. A massive victory in the finals against Sri Lanka has put Siraj in the front seat. Bumrah’s return gives Rohit Sharma his main man back in the squad.
Pathan has also credited a successful series versus the Aussies for India to more likely lift the title. Top sites for cricket betting agree, but given the way India lost their 3rd ODI of the series, it cannot be said with a cemented statement that India will surely win. Irfan’s argument about home conditions could still work out the way it did in 2011.
Shane Watson has picked a broader number of teams for the Semi-Finals. England, Australia, India, and Pakistan feature on the list. Gautam Gambhir has done the same, except he has included New Zealand and excluded Azam’s squad. There is a possibility that Pakistan’s cricket team will fumble on a major stage. Not that they have never won a championship, but they frequently lose while a team like New Zealand remains composed under pressure.
Interestingly, Waqar Younis has also left Pakistan out of his favorites. He has instead picked India and England to reach the final.
India reaching the final will bring them close to the trophy. Assuming ICT reaches there, Rohit Sharma will unleash the best of his captaincy to make sure that the trophy comes home after a decade. That will make him one of the historic captains to win the Asia Cup and World Cup in the ODI format in less than six months.
Ignoring Australia and New Zealand for the top four spots is a heavy expense. Tymal Mills has done that. As a matter of fact, he has expressed his confidence in South Africa to enter the semis and Pakistan to lift the cup. A lot has been put on the shoulders of Haris Rauff, Shaheen Afridi, Babar Azam, and Mohammed Rizwan. Holding breath for this prediction to come true is not recommended.