ICC World Cup 2019 Semi-Finals
The semi-final slots are reserved and the four qualifying teams are known to everyone. While the third and fourth positions are sealed with England and New Zealand owning them respectively, the top two positions are set to be shared by Australia and India. But, the fight to finish at the top has still not concluded and with both the teams playing their final matches today the picture will be cleared only after the end of the day.
Having lost only one out of their eight league games, Australia sit atop the points table. A victory against South Africa in their last encounter would see them finishing the league stages at the top and facing New Zealand in the semis. However, if they are defeated by the Proteas and India, on the other hand, win against Sri Lanka the Virat Kohli-led side would gain the top spot ahead of the semi-finals.
According to the rule fo ICC World Cup 2019, the number one side get to face the number four side in the semi-finals, while the second and third-placed side will fight it out for an eventual spot in the final. Given the stature of all the four teams, there should not be a huge fuss of who should be facing whom as all of them are equally capable. But with New Zealand looking out of momentum and losing three consecutive games, they look the weakest of the lot. Thus, Australia and India would both want to finish at the top and avoid England, who are riding high on confidence after registering back-to-back victories against India and New Zealand in their last two league games.
Australia stand the highest chance of finish the league stage at the top as they are one point ahead of India and a victory, which looks highly probable against a despairing South African unit, would do it for them. For India, even a victory will not guarantee them the prime position and they will hope for a defeat of the Aaron Finch-led side. Both India and Australia have only lost one game so far, but the men in blue won one game less. Their outing against New Zealand was washed out and they were forced to share points with their opponents. A win in that game could have placed Kohli & Co. on equal footing with the team from down under.