Hailed as the most coveted and prestigious event in the history of the ‘Gentlemen’s Game’ – World Cup is nothing less than the “Olympics of Cricket”. There has been a significant change in the tournament’s format this year which is scheduled to begin from May 30. Only the top ten teams in the world are taking part in this quadrennial competition which is will be played in a round-robin format before the semi-finals stage. So as the tournament dawns upon us, here’s a look at the possible best five matches that can take place in this edition. The high voltage matches between India vs Pakistan and Englands v Australia have been left out of this list.
India vs Australia
With both these players coming back in the World Cup squad, Australia possesses a great threat to the Men in Blue. The Indian team is a top-order heavy lineup and the Aussies have depth in their bowling to disrupt the Indians strategy. So expect a mouth-watering clash.
England vs Windies
During their last battle in the bilateral series, England posted 418 runs on the board in the fourth ODI and Windies almost chased it down, falling just 29 runs short. With Andre Russell and Chris Gayle in their ranks, Windies have the potential of exploiting England’s bowling lineup. So one can expect a run-feast at the Rose Bowl.
Australia vs South Africa
One can expect sparks to fly as both these teams have the best bowling lineups in the tournament. Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada are in good form for the Proteas whereas Mithcell Starc, Pat Cummins are expected to start in the playing XI for Aussies. In the batting-friendly conditions, this match has the potential of being dominated by the bowlers.
Pakistan vs Afghanistan
Pakistan are coming off a bad run in the ODI format. They recently were beaten 4-0 by England in the five-match series. But the team cannot be taken lightly as they are the winners of the 2017 Champions Trophy. One cannot expect how both Afghanistan and Pakistan are going to perform, so this match has the potential of going down to the wire.
India vs England
Both these two sides clash with each other on June 30 in the group stage. Many people have already termed these two teams as the finalists of the World Cup. England is currently the number one ranked team in the ODI format whereas India is positioned at number two. England possibly has the best batting lineup in the tournament with their players like Jos Buttler, Jason Roy, Eoin Morgan being in good form. The Men in Blue have a settled lineup and they also have the bowling attack to disrupt England’s batting plans. Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami have the ability to bog down the English batsmen. One can expect a nail-biting thriller when these two teams take on each other.
The much-awaited World Cup is scheduled to take place in the United Kingdom from May 30 to July 14. England will play against South Africa in the curtain-raiser at The Oval in London.