World Cup 2023: Who are the semifinalists and how did they get there?

Who are the semifinalists and how did they get there

The ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 is nearing its climax, with only four teams remaining in the race for the coveted trophy. India, South Africa, Australia, and Pakistan/New Zealand have qualified for the semifinals, after a thrilling league phase that saw some close contests and surprising results. Here is a brief overview of how each of the semifinalists performed in the tournament so far and what to expect from them in the knockout stage.

India: The unbeaten juggernaut

India has been the most dominant team in the World Cup 2023, winning all nine of their league matches with ease. Led by the charismatic Rohit Sharma, India has displayed a balanced and formidable combination of batting, bowling, and fielding, with several players contributing to their success. Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, and Shubman Gill have been among the top run-scorers, while Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, and Ravindra Jadeja have been among the top wicket-takers. India has also been impressive in chasing down targets, India will face Pakistan or New Zealand in the first semifinal, which promises to be a high-voltage encounter between the arch-rivals.

South Africa: The Resilient Fighters

South Africa has been the surprise package of the World Cup 2023, overcoming their past demons of choking in big tournaments and qualifying for the semifinals for the first time since 2007. South Africa has shown a lot of grit and determination, winning seven out of nine league matches, with their only losses coming against India and Australia. Quinton de Kock and David Miller have been the mainstays of their batting, while Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, and Tabraiz Shamsi have been the spearheads of their bowling. South Africa has also been excellent in defending low totals, as they proved in their thrilling win over New Zealand by one run. South Africa will take on Australia in the second semifinal, which will be a rematch of their epic encounter in the 1999 World Cup.

Australia: The defending champions

Australia has continued their winning habit in the World Cup 2023, securing eight wins out of nine league matches, with their only defeat coming against India. Aaron Finch, Steve Smith, and Glenn Maxwell have been the pillars of their batting, while Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, and Adam Zampa have been the leaders of their bowling. Australia has also been ruthless in crushing their opponents, as they demonstrated in their win over Afghanistan. Australia will face South Africa in the second semifinal, which will be a test of their nerves and skills against a resurgent opponent.

Pakistan: The Unpredictable Dark Horses

Pakistan has been the unpredictable dark horse of the World Cup 2023, qualifying for the semifinals dramatically, after a tense three-way battle with New Zealand.Pakistan, with their losses coming against India, South Africa, and Australia and Afghanistan. Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, and Mohammad Rizwan have been the stars of their batting, while Shaheen Afridi, Hasan Ali, and Shadab Khan have been the heroes of their bowling. Pakistan has also been remarkable in pulling off close finishes, as they showed in their nail-biting win over England by two runs. Pakistan will meet India in the first semifinal, which will be a chance for them to avenge their previous losses and create history.

New Zealand: The most probable semifinalist

New Zealand has played all of its nine matches and secured the fourth position with 10 points and a net run rate of +0.743. Pakistan, on the other hand, has played eight matches and has eight points and a net run rate of +0.036. This means that Pakistan needs to win its last match against Afghanistan by a big margin to overtake New Zealand and qualify for the semi-finals. Alternatively, Pakistan can also hope for South Africa to lose its last match against Australia by a huge margin, which would lower its net run rate and give Pakistan a chance to advance.

The semifinals of the World Cup 2023 will be played on November 14 and 15, at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata and the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, respectively. The final will be played on November 19, at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. The World Cup 2023 has been a spectacle of cricket, with some thrilling matches and outstanding performances. The semifinals will be no different, as the four best teams will battle it out for a place in the final. The stage is set for some exciting cricket, and the fans are eagerly waiting for the action to unfold.

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