Cricket World Cup

World Cup Tips: How the semi-final teams stack up

Virat Kohli
Could Kohli costs India?

Ed Hawkins, who has returned 11.33 points profit on the World Cup, and correctly named the final four, now assesses the race to the final...


India 5/61.84

Tournament batting run rate rank: 1
Tournament bowlin economy rank: 1
Most top-bat returns last 2 years: Rohit 29.2%
*Least top-bat returns last 2 years: Shreyas 15.6%
Most top bowler returns last 2 years: Bumrah 47%

Analysis: Can they be stopped? Possibly. Their depth, their bowling prowess, their stats (there's a huge gap on those bat and ball numbers above) and their egos is unsurpassed. The latter is perhaps their greatest weakness. India's obession with milestones threatens to put their team in peril. What if a go-slow by Virat Koli, seeking his 50th ODI ton, means they leave 20-30 runs out there batting first? Semi-final opponents New Zealand may reckon sticking them in and preying on the arrogance - not to mention a tail that now starts at No 8 is their best chance. It's largely gone unnoticed that India are unbalanced without Hardik Pandya. They cannot afford one bad day.

Probable XI: Rohit, Gill, Kohli, Shreyas, Rahul, Yadav, Jadeja, Shami, Kuldeep, Bumrah, Siraj


Australia 3/14.00

Tournament batting run rate rank: 5
Tournament bowlin economy rank: 4
Most top-bat returns last 2 years: Warner 29%
*Least top-bat returns last 2 years: Inglis 6.25%
Most top bowler returns last 2 years: Zampa 60.7%

Analysis: Watch out. We've been saying for some time this lot are motoring. They have grown into the tournament and with Travis Head back they are stronger than when they started and finely tuned. There are concerns about the bowling group but no side beats them on sheer guts. They do not know when they are beaten. Witness Glenn Maxwell's extraordinary effort against Afghanistan. They're also unlikely to be overawed by India in a potential final. Australia have won three times in India against India this year.

Probable XI: Warner, Head, M Marsh, Smith, Inglis, Maxwell, Stoinis, Cummins, Starc, Hazlewood, Zampa


South Africa 4/15.00

Tournament batting run rate rank: 2
Tournament bowlin economy rank: 2
Most top-bat returns last 2 years: Klaasen 23.7%
*Least top-bat returns last 2 years: Hendricks 0%
Most top bowler returns last 2 years: Coetzee 66.6%

Analysis: South Africa have to bat first. And they probably accept that. Skip Temba Bavuma, who could be injured for the semi, has admitted they don't have a blueprint to chase and it has shown. They were well-beaten by Netherlands, were fortunate against Pakistan and then had a wobble against Afghanistan. Their death bowling leaves a hell of a lot to be desired. In short, they're one dimensional. But if they bat first twice they will reckon they're home and hosed. No side has scored more sixes. And they may have hit on a late solution to balance with Andile Phehlukwayo potentially key at No 8.

Possible XI: De Kock, Hendricks, van der Dussen, Markram, Klaasen, Miller, Jansen, Phelukwayo, Mahraj, Coetzee, Rabada


New Zealand 6/17.00

Tournament batting run rate rank: 2
Tournament bowlin economy rank: 4
Most top-bat returns last 2 years: Conway 25.9%
*Least top-bat returns last 2 years: Latham 12.5%
Most top bowler returns last 2 years: Boult 52.9%

Analysis: The Kiwis are in another semi-final. And once again they're rated the rags. And once again - just like 2019 - India stand in their way of a final. One suspects that their race will be run by Wednesday night. After an easy start thanks to a kind fixture list they were found wanting against the best opposition, although they ran Australia close in a thriller. The way Paksitan got hold of their bowlers was a major concern and with Matt Henry out they're missing a key pacer. They have lost four times against India in India this year.

Probable XI: Conway, Ravindra, Williamson, Mitchell, Phillips, Latham, Chapman, Santner, Southee, Ferguson, Boult


How Ed called top four before a ball was bowled

Ed Hawkins P-L

2023: +40.93
2022:+16.79
2021: +29.41pts
2020: +5.91pts
2019: +37.25pts
2018: +23.53pts
2017: +12pts
2016: +18.1pts
2015: +38pts
2014: +31.5pts
2013: +25pt

GET £40 IN FREE BETS MULTIPLES WHEN YOU SPEND £10 ON THE BETFAIR SPORTSBOOK

New customers only. Bet £10 on the Betfair Sportsbook at odds of min EVS (2.0) and receive £40 in FREE Bet Builders, Accumulators or Multiples to use on any sport. T&Cs apply.

Prices quoted in copy are correct at time of publication but liable to change.