As a long-life cricket fan, I am sure that for me and many others, it has been a long four-year wait for this 2019 World Cup. I am sure many other cricket fans also watched the IPL right beforehand to see what international players (and Indian players) are in form and out of form for the upcoming World Cup.
And now that it has arrived, there has been a fair share of surprises and pure excitement in the play so far. Even today, New Zealand beat West Indies in a thriller that was a battle to the end. The highlights are linked and are worth a watch. There was also a Mohammad Shami hat-trick to save India from defeat against Afghanistan. And despite South Africa's poor play, Imran Tahir is still playing with such great passion.
New Zealand has created a ton of exciting cricket, like the match I just mentioned. They have performed well above expectations and currently are on top of the table, surprising me and many others. They mainly have Kane Williamson to thank for this, with a gaudy batting average of 186.5. Man is he in form. Also, they have Trent Boult who is always good, and Matt Henry has been solid for the Black Caps as well.
I have also loved watching India play thus far in the tournament, thoroughly enjoying Rohit Sharma's fine play and Virat Kohli's consistent performance. I also was amazed by Shikhar Dhawan's century against Australia despite playing with a broken thumb. Unfortunately, he had to go home as he was ruled out of the rest of the World Cup. Jasprit Bumrah is as good as ever, and Bhuvi has bowled well too.
I strongly believed that India was the best side coming in and that England was number two, despite being ranked 2nd and 1st in the world, respectively. However, England has dropped two games to Pakistan and Sri Lanka of all teams and appear to inconsistent. I still believe they will make the semifinals but doubt they can take it all the way.
Afghanistan has played really poorly in this World Cup, but I still think they are a good team. They have had decent bowling performances so far, especially with Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi. But even those two have been inconsistent, much like Afghanistan's batting lineup. They just have a tendency to slip into a domino effect and lose multiple wickets at once. If their batting did not falter in every match they played. They would be higher than the bottom spot in the standings.
So I believe the top four teams at the end of regular play will be India at number one, New Zealand at number two, Australia at number three, and England at number four. I believe the World Cup final will be a match between New Zealand and India, with India taking the cup. But with how interesting this tourney has been so far, anything could happen and at any time.