Two teams enter. One emerges. This is the situation when the last two undefeated teams meet on Thursday the 13th, assuming no rain, of course. Pre-tournament, India were 2nd favourites while New Zealand were down in 5th place, expected to just miss the semi-finals, or perhaps just to make it, and yet it is New Zealand who are leading the pack, and even beat India easily in their warm-up match. Upset probably isn’t the right word if New Zealand were to win, as they are both unbeaten, but India are certainly the favourites.
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Five Fearless Predictions:
(1) The Kane Williamson show will continue
He has just been unstoppable, either the best player or at least one of the best, often with Ross Taylor going with him, and it seems like that will continue.
(2) Virat Kohli will come good
He’s failed a bit lately but it is hard to imagine him staying down.
(3) India will win
While New Zealand won the warm-up match, India’s impressive wins over two of the favourites in South Africa and Australia in their first two matches says that they should win this. They might not, and it’s certainly possible for New Zealand to win, but I am picking India, for what it’s worth.
(4) It’ll be close
Not just because India’s other two matches were close, but also these are two fairly evenly matched teams. While New Zealand won very easily in the warm-up match, in the tournament proper that seems unlikely.
(5) Please don’t rain
The worst thing would be if this match is washed out, or even rain-reduced. This World Cup has already had the most wash outs, beating the previous record of 2, and we’re only a third of the way through. This would be the worst match to be washed out, as it could potentially mean that we finish the group stages with two unbeaten teams.