ICC World Cup 2019: How the semi-finalists compare?
Surviving a long five-week and 45-match group stage which ended over the weekend, the four qualifying teams now have a chance of lifting the World Cup trophy at Lord’s on July 14.
It was the four best sides, according to the rankings, at least, who qualified for the knockout stages, with group leaders India facing New Zealand in the first semi-final on Tuesday.
Two days later, host nation England will attempt to reach the final by knocking out defending champions Australia.
The India v New Zealand semi-final will be played at Emirates Old Trafford Stadium on Tuesday, 10.30am.
For India, the group stage was a relatively straightforward affair. Gaining victories in most matches, they managed to hold the top slot by the end of group stage.
New Zealand enjoyed an equally strong start, securing three straight wins before a wash-out with India. Later, defeats against Pakistan, Australia and England, they still managed to enter semi-finals on the basis of their earlier wins.
The second semi-final will be played between Australia and England in Edgbaston Cricket Ground on Thursday, 10.30am.
Despite being the defending champions and the most successful team in the competition’s history, Australia entered the 2019 World Cup with relatively little hype.
Three straight wins represented a fine start and yet the team were still written off after a defeat to India followed by win in their next five games ensuring a place in semi-finals.
On the other hand, England recovered from a shock defeat by Pakistan to win three successive matches, but a horror week which saw the team lose to both Sri Lanka and Australia threatened to derail their challenge.
To England’s credit, they responded by beating two fellow semi-finalists India and New Zealand, to secure qualification to the semi-finals for the first time since 1992.
Now, on July 14, the world will know about the champions of the biggest cricket tournament in world.