The 14th match of the tournament is Australia’s third but India’s second, a result of India getting preferential treatment for the tournament from the ICC as a reward for hosting the IPL. South Africa were penalised, seemingly playing India’s extra match, and suffered the consequences for doing it for them.
Australia are here to get revenge, the in-form team primed to take care of the bullies that India have become. The fact that Australia have won five out of 11 World Cups, as well as being losing finalists twice, and have themselves been called bullies, means that this is, in some ways, a battle of the bullies. The new bullies India against the old bullies Australia. Which bullies do we want to win?
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Five Fearless Predictions:
(1) It’s David Warner’s turn
It seems as if it is Smith then Warner then Smith then Warner, and, given that Smith starred against the West Indies, then it is Warner’s time to shine against India. They are both in incredible form and are primed to do well again.
(2) Virat Kohli will star
The great man failed in his last match and it seems hard to believe he would fail twice in a row. While I’d love to see him out for a duck and hence an easy win for Australia, I just don’t see it happening. Instead, I see him providing a lone stand against the might of the Australian attack.
(3) Jasprit Bumrah will star
It is probably easy to predict that India’s best bowler will do well, but I don’t see him stopping here. He has been remarkably consistent and is due to do it again.
(4) Mitchell Starc will continue his form
The form Starc showed against West Indies was incredible. Not only did he take 5 wickets but he won it for Australia right when the game was in the balance at the very end. Starc is a form player and when he is on a run he stays good for a while, so I think that he has turned the corner now and is due for some greatness.
(5) Australia will win
In the battle of the bullies, I am picking the old bully over the new bully. While Australia came under some criticism for all of the umpiring decisions that went their way against West Indies, including the non-calling of Starc’s no ball the ball before Gayle was out, I still think India are the bigger bullies. Not that that really matters, as Australia are in better form. India might be unbeaten in their only match, but they still lost badly to New Zealand in the warm-ups, and also lost 3 matches in a row to Australia a couple of months ago. It is far from a guarantee but in a close contest Australia have all of the aces.