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India to edge wide open World Cup

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Oliver Brett | 14:47 UK time, Monday, 21 March 2011

It began more than a month ago but it gets serious now. Eight teams are left, and the first quarter-final is on Wednesday. Lose now and you're on the first plane home.

The Cricket World Cup produced one notable scalp by an associate nation - when Kevin O'Brien hauled Ireland past a huge England score with an innings to light up any tournament - but excitement and unpredictability has not generally been high on the agenda.

The one surprise from Group A is that Pakistan find themselves above Sri Lanka and Australia at the top of the table, while in the other half Bangladesh's heavy defeat by West Indies proved crucial in ensuring the Tigers, one of three host nations, would not progress to the knockout stages.

England have consistently been the tournament's jokers in the pack, never winning or losing by more than a whisker, playing brilliantly against the good sides and woefully against the weak ones.

With just seven matches to go, who's going to win the thing? Let's take a look at the eight contenders.

Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli

With batsmen like Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli to call on, India look formidable (AP)

ENGLAND

A combination of a growing injury list and an alarming loss of form from players such as James Anderson and Paul Collingwood means the World Cup's unlikeliest late recruit, the tattooed Surrey seamer Jade Dernbach, is not a million miles away from making an appearance before this tournament is out.

No team has had to change its plans as often as England, and no captain has endured anything like the anxiety levels encountered by Andrew Strauss. And yet the positives are there for all to see.

England found a way to beat South Africa and tie with India - two of the strongest sides in the tournamen - while Jonathan Trott and Strauss occupy positions two and three in the leading run-scorer stakes.

The bowling could be the weak link, with the ring-rusty spinner James Tredwell likely to come under huge pressure if he continues to play, though the fielding has improved sharply from some horrible moments earlier in the tournament.

Expert's view (Test Match Special's Sunil Gavaskar): "England must be considered as serious contenders to win the Cup... possibly favourites. The way they came back from the loss against Bangladesh was amazing. They have a very balanced bowling attack. Strauss makes England believe in themselves."

My prediction: Beating Sri Lanka at their Colombo fortress on Saturday remains a very tough assignment. England to bow out in the quarter-finals.

AUSTRALIA

Now their unbeaten record in World Cups, stretching back the last Millennium, has finally gone is it time for their stranglehold on the trophy itself to be wrested away? If that's the case, then it might have to be India who do it on Thursday in Ahmedabad.

It is to the immense credit of Brett Lee that the lion-hearted veteran paceman has got himself fit for this tournament, let alone become one of its most dangerous bowlers. Lee has 12 wickets at a cost of 15.83 runs each. And Mitchell Johnson has been much more accurate than he tends to be in Ashes Tests.

But it is unlikely to be fast bowlers who win this World Cup for anyone. Even if Australia were to beat India they would then travel to Colombo for a semi-final set to be played on a low, slow turner.

Their batsmen, with Ricky Ponting the most glaring example, have not yet reached their full potential, and their spinners - as was advertised before the tournament started - remain a weakness. And yet if they do get past India not many teams will be keen to take them on.

Expert's view (Test Match Special's Geoffrey Boycott): "You have to put Australia in the mix. There is always something about them. They've got quick bowling and they are going to try to get up people's noises, try to bombard people. It can backfire - but if they get it right then they make inroads quickly."

My prediction: India to gain revenge for defeat in the 2003 World Cup final by sneaking past Ponting's men in the quarter-finals.

NEW ZEALAND

Apart from the astonishing run surge led by Ross Taylor against Pakistan (92 runs came off the last four overs) New Zealand have gone about their business quietly - disposing of the minnows, and losing to the two top seeds in Group A - but effectively enough to reach the last eight without any scares.

For a team who tend to struggle with fitness, they have also got to the knockout stage in good shape, though presumably the physio will have his work cut out to ensure injury-prone all-rounders Scott Styris and Jacob Oram make it thought the remainder of the tournament in one piece.

On that front, captain Daniel Vettori expects to have shrugged off the knee problem that forced him out of two group matches in time for the quarter-finals.

With Taylor topping the batting charts for the Black Caps and seamer Tim Southee proving surprisingly effective with ball in hand, New Zealand are unlikely to go down meekly. It would, however, take a leap of faith to imagine them reaching the final.

Expert's view (The Dominion Post's Aaron Lawton): "Coach John Wright is not a miracle worker. He can only set the game plan - which, incidentally is to be no more than three wickets down by the 35-over mark before pulling out the big shots - and hope his players will follow it."

My prediction: South Africa will be too strong in Friday's quarter-final for this New Zealand side, which appears to be lacking punch.

WEST INDIES

Their group matches suggested one thing: if West Indies ever establish a big advantage over an opponent they can bully them into submission. They also told us this: put the West Indies under pressure and watch them disintegrate.

Cruising to an apparent victory over England, West Indies needed just 24 to win with four wickets and bags of time in hand but managed just three more runs amid a flurry of wild swings, tentative pokes and a run-out.

India and South Africa also beat Darren Sammy's team by margins comfortable enough to suggest the Caribbean dream is in danger of being ended fairly soon.

Whatever happens now, paceman Kemar Roach and opening batsman Chris Gayle have had good tournaments, and given the dreadful bad luck they have encountered with injuries West Indies cannot be said to have performed below par.

Expert's view (Windies captain Sammy, after batting collapse against India): "It's a worrying thing for us but I still back the calibre of players we have, once we put our heads down and play each ball on its merits."

My prediction: West Indies' brittle batting will be severely tested by Pakistan's varied attack, and that should decide that quarter-final.

PAKISTAN

With 17 wickets costing 11.47 runs apiece and opposing batsmen managing to score barely three-and-a-half runs from each of his overs, Shahid Afridi has laid down a claim as the leading bowler of the tournament. If he can recapture the batting form he is more renowned for, then anyone standing in Pakistan's path should watch out.

For a team whose prime weapon is its bowling - alongside Afridi, the unpredictable fast bowler Umar Gul has been in fine fettle - they have also had their moments with the bat, such as when totalling a match-winning 277-7 against Sri Lanka in Colombo.

But then there's also the mediocre Pakistan who West Indies will hope to encounter on Wednesday in Mirpur: the one that was bowled out for 184 by Canada and thrashed by New Zealand five days later.

Asad Shafiq's steady 46 in the confidence-lifting victory over Australia may have ended Ahmed Shehzad's tournament. Even so, a top three of Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Hafeez and Shafiq/Shehzad is a weakness that must be overcome.

Expert's view (Former World Cup winner Imran Khan): "The mix of youth and experience is helping Pakistan. It was a complete team effort against Australia and with their natural talent I think they can win this World Cup."

My prediction: Batting weakness to be exposed by India as Pakistan's journey ends in the semi-finals.

SOUTH AFRICA

Some excellent selections, notably picking plenty of spinners including the ODI newcomer Imran Tahir, have ensured South Africa enter the knockouts as one of two teams with five wins behind them.

The startling lack of form of Graeme Smith, and to a lesser extent Jacques Kallis, has been overcome with some big runs from AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla and JP Duminy.

Squad depth is a big strength for South Africa. Seamer Lonwabo Tsotsobe came in for his first game against Bangladesh and returned 3-14 in five overs.

The weakness remains this: how good are South Africa mentally in a tight run-chase when asked to bat second on a spin-friendly wicket? England had their number in Chennai, and other teams will aim to repeat the formula of crowding the bat and inducing some panicky shots.

Expert's view (BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew): "I'm going for South Africa to win the World Cup. They are a much more rounded team than they've probably ever been in one-day cricket. If anyone is going to win it rather than England then Graeme Smith, for his long service to the game, deserves to get his hands on the Cup."

My prediction: South Africa to miss out on a World Cup final again as nerves get the better of them against Sri Lanka in the semis.

SRI LANKA

In the only abandoned match of the tournament, Sri Lanka were poised to set Australia a testing target and the margin of their wins over Zimbabwe and New Zealand in their final two games - 139 runs and 112 runs - speaks of a team entitled to feel a trifle confident.

And yet it was a bit of a surprise that they were unable to find a way past Pakistan at their Premadasa fortress back on 26 February.

With no Asian opponents on their possible list until the final, mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis is expected to be picked, especially with Sri Lanka in Colombo both for their quarter-final and semi-final (should they beat England).

So long as Mendis is not knocked off his rhythm, then the rest of the bowling should be strong enough to take Sri Lanka deep into the knockouts, especially with Kumar Sangakkara in tremendous batting form, and others doing their bit with the willow.

Expert's view (TMS pundit Simon Mann): "Sri Lanka, in these conditions, have got lots of options. I'm a bit worried about their lower middle order but all the teams are flawed, and Sri Lanka have fewer flaws than others."

OB's prediction: They have the tools and should have the confidence to go all the way, but the final will be only their second tournament match away from home. Runners-up.

INDIA

For a team with everything going for it - home advantage, a rejuvenated Sachin Tendulkar, and a death bowler par excellence in Zaheer Khan, India don't half have their detractors.

A number of fans feel off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has been coasting through the tournament and should be dropped - I disagree - while the lower middle order have not scored enough runs when setting targets.

Throw into the mix the persistent refusal to play more than four bowlers - Yuvraj Singh and Yusuf Pathan have got this far relatively unscathed as the "fifth" bowler, but that may not last - and suddenly the negatives are piling up.

In what remains largely a batsman's game, however, you feel the sheer weight of runs already meted out by the formidable top six will keep on coming. And Harbhajan will surely start taking wickets when opposing batsmen have no option but to attack him.

Expert's view (Test Match Special's Michael Vaughan): "A few teams can win and you can't rule out India with the support they have and the power of their batting. The bowling and fielding will have to be better, though."

My prediction: India were not the finished article in 1983 and found a way to win. Packed with match-winners this time, they can certainly do it again.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    aus 2 beat india and sri lanka to lose by 10 wickets or 200 runs

  • Comment number 2.

    Fair predictions, but I fancy England over Sri-Lanka, and Pakistan over India in the semis (that's more what I hope than what I predict will happen).

    But this WC has been so unpredictable and exciting, I'm not sure anything will surprise me. Can't wait!

  • Comment number 3.

    I think the author has called it right. I bet India are a bit surprised that they're facing Australia already in the Quarters though. The winner of that one to take all.

  • Comment number 4.

    Is this supposed to be a piece of sporting journalism or just a way for the author to get his predictions across, which are essentially worthless guesses?

  • Comment number 5.

    2. That's the point, it really is terribly hard to gauge how it will all pan out for here. It might come down to a lucky toss, an unlucky late injury, things we just can't cater for at present. While I have plumped for India overall, it is with no huge confidence. But it should make it an absorbing finale given that all of these teams in the last eight are somewhat flawed.

  • Comment number 6.

    It pains me to say this, and whilst I do think they are fielding the most uninspiring team for a generation, I think my money would be on Australia - they have been very clinical so far in the tournament and only lost the one match, and you also cannot discount the fact that they are the ranked the top one day team in the world. They obviously have their pedigree of having won the tournament so many times to inflate their confidence, and they have a great grasp of the 50 over game. If they get past India I think it's theirs for the taking.

    Obviously I would love England to win and will be rooting all the way, and be rife with bitter disappointment if we lose.

    But outside of that I would love to see India lift the trophy on home soil if for no other reason than to see the reaction of the Indian supporters who have a love for the game I just wish we had here in England.

  • Comment number 7.

    Sri Lanka shouldn't win. Mendis has been consistently poor, he's only still there because he bamboozled India's batsmen back in 2008. Sangakkara and Mahela only make up there pace of scoring at the end of innings'. Their first 30 balls are painful.

    Dilshan has misfired and Samaweera is not a one day player.

    Nothing to fear. England have plenty of faults too but if we can beat South Africa we can certainly beat Sri Lanka. Such a shame to lose Broad and KP though.

    Any team can get through to the semi's, except New Zealand...

    Wouldn't surprise me to see Pakistan in the final, they are bowling very well and only takes 30 balls from Afridi or Razzak and the game is gone.

  • Comment number 8.

    I think to be honest, your predictions are a little bit off...

    Sri Lanka are not a good team to be honest against quality bowling. Their batting attack is ordinary at best and their bowling will fall short of the quality required to oust the England batting, which is quite frankly even better than India on their day (EG. Get Tendulkar out for less than 10 and watch the batting collapse begin).

    South Africa are bottlers and they are extremely good at punishing miniature opposition but they are just not good enough to win this. India is a game of chance. Get Tendulkar out for anything less than 10 and they collapse easily with their bowlers being distinctly average/below average.

    I see another Australian win to be honest, if England crumble (which is always a chance). The Australians have mental steel.

  • Comment number 9.

    Regarding Sri Lanka
    Out of Malinga, Mendis and Murali only Murali played in the loss to Pakistan. I feel they definitely have the best attack for the conditions and I make them slight favourites, otherwise spot on. Having said that I feel anyone apart from NZ and WI have at least some chance to win it.

  • Comment number 10.

    The sad thing is that the final maybe won on the toss of a coin...

    I wouldn't write-off England, WI or NZ one of these three least rated sides will have their day in the QF's and upset the applecart.

    Aus v India is too close to call and all the pundits want a India vs Pakistan Semi it seems.

  • Comment number 11.

    To be honest it's as wide open as it ever could be.

    I wouldn't be surprised if Australia pulled out all the stops against India, and then fold in the Semi's

    Everybody is dangerous, I love it

  • Comment number 12.

    I have been pleasantly surprised in this world cup by the amount of exciting games (mostly involving england) and in particular in group B. It is refreshing to see a world cup in which australia arent favourites although they should never be underestimated.
    Im hoping either england or india win the tournament but every team has a couple of areas of concern. The same old concerns exist with India, as with all sub-continent teams they are woeful in the field but their are signs of that improving in the future with raina and kohli. But the over-reliance on the batting line-up seems to be what stops india from being the favourites. They did bowl well against west indies but they do not possess a genuine wicket taker in the mould of dale steyn or malinga. This is why im surprised they didnt include ishant sharma as although his control can be wayward, he hits speeds of 90mph something which indians current attack simply does not have, after all 90 wickets in 31 tests suggests he is a good bowler but why they did not take a risk on him is beyond me, particularly as sreesanth is much more unpredictable. The batting lineup of india's for me still remains the strongest in the tournament and if the middle-order starts to click than maybe it can make up for india adequate bowling lineup although zaheer khan has been superb in this tournament. Would also like to see harbhajhan singh attacking the stumps a bit more, rather than being economical possibly tossing the ball up a bit more and giving it some flight and turn, he is a much better bowler when he does this and the pitches should start to suit him as the tournament progresses.
    As for england they have lost what i think are their two match winners, their best batsmen on any given day kevin pieterson and a genuine wicket taker much like flintoff in stuart broad. I do like bresnan but he seems more suited to the test arena as does tremlett, im surprised that steve finn who took numerous wickets against australia wasnt included, although he was expensive isnt that what one day bowling is all about, taking wickets at regular intervals. Matt prior has been poor in this tournament both behind the stumps and as a batsmen, maybe trott should be considered at number two as he seems to score runs regardless of his position, as for prior, if he is to retain his place maybe he should just come lower down the order and play the role of finisher as he is more than capable of hitting boundaries, he is not however either as aggressive as sewag neither can he construct an innings in the same way sangakarra does so how he is at number two in the batting is beyond me.
    For me, as much as i hate to say it south africa look the most balanced side and i would put them as favourites, the only thing that may work in other teams favor is that they seem to struggle under pressure when they look set to win.

  • Comment number 13.

    Remember Imran Khan's cornered tigers in 1992? Teams that start badly often come back to win. This time its England who were cornered lions. They have the ability, and unlike other teams have already had to raise their game when it matters. If they beat Sri Lanka I think the momentum will be unstoppable.

  • Comment number 14.

    Definitely one of the hardest tournaments to call. Alot of the teams are unpredictable and so are the conditions. We have gone from 2 scores of 350 odd in the same game to teams failing to knock off 175. All the teams have their strengths and weaknesses and I guess, cliche that it is, whoever has their big players come out on top is likely to win.

    If I had to pick I just feel that England are still in this tournament for a reason. They have played horrendously at times but seem to keep pulling something out the bag and I just feel they will do the same again against Sri Lanka. I think they will meet SA again as they will in turn be too strong for NZ in all areas. Take away their performance against England, they have looked assured and confident. India - Australia is a huge one to call but as has been said, India are so powerful up top that the pace of Australias attack could in theory get blown away rather than blow someone away. They have looked good but the calibre of batsmen in Indias top 6 is frightening. I believe India are more complete than Australia so I'll opt for them. They will probably face Pakistan but if Chris Gayle comes off for a long period which he's been threatening to do then WI could find themselves in with a shout. Both these teams are brittle but my head says Pakistan will cope better.

    England then to beat SA and India to beat Pakistan and then it's who copes with the pressure better.....?????

  • Comment number 15.

    Thank you so much Oliver Brett for your very valuable opinion. You certainly look like you know what you're talking about in terms of international sports...

  • Comment number 16.

    If England pick the right side I would mark them down as favourties. Bell and Strauss to open, Trott at 3, Bopara and Morgan 4 and 5, Prior at 6, Wright 7, Swann Bressan Treadwell and Anderson to make up the tail. 2 pacemen 2 spinners 3 medium pacers. They well also have the advantage of playing at the same venue for the qf and sf, if they beat Sri Lanka. The Toss will be very important in the final as the dew factor will play apart, but England have no one to worry about. Come on England!!

  • Comment number 17.

    I think that nobody will be surprised to see Pakistan triumph over the West Indians and South Africa defeat New Zealand. With the other two semi-finals, one would expect home advantage to be crucial, but I wonder whether, with all the hype surrounding the tournament and the huge weight of expectation on the shoulders of the players, perhaps both India and Sri Lanka will struggle to progress?

    I can certainly see India folding under pressure if Australia get a decent score on the board or get amongst their batting early on, but what about Sri Lanka? Does anyone have an opinion as to how well they may perform under the pressure of a World Cup knock out fixture at home?

    They have plenty of quality players - no doubt - especially Angelo Mathews who rarely seems to get much attention but played one of the finest ODI innings I've seen to beat the Aussies in a match over the winter.

    I feel that if Strauss wins the toss and Anderson gets his mojo back, then England have a chance. I feel Bell is due a score, and I hope he'll be opening with Strauss. And in Morgan, England have a bona fide match winner: Pietersen's biggest contribution to England's World Cup could be in getting himself injured!

    So if England can win, I wouldn't be surprised to see an England-Australia final.

    How about that to round off the winter!!

  • Comment number 18.

    Maybe Im missing something but I really find it difficult to understand how experts can have such lazy views. Cricket is not just about batting, but bowling too.

    India's two biggest games in their group, South Africa & England, did not yield even one win. England should have won, and S Africa did.

    Their bowlers cant defend big totals, for me they'll be out in the QFs.

  • Comment number 19.

    Brave of you to re-emerge after your pretty horrendous "6 to watch" prediction at the start of the tournament... And especially after you followed up by dissing the lack of quality in South Africa's spin quintet. Only (half) joking, but please do keep writing us off!

    Australia won't win, their batting is off colour and they don't have the bowlers to do it on the subcontinent. Neither will the Windies, and probably not England or New Zealand because they don't seem to have enough players at the top of their game. Pakistan's batting line-up seems a bit brittle, so not this time I don't think for them.

    So that leaves 3.

    India will be in with a shout if their bowlers raise their level, they still have a batting line-up that looks capable of chasing anything. Sri Lanka look decent, but my goodness they rely on Sangakkara and Jayawardene. If one or both of them miss out, anyone else know where the runs will come from?

    Which leaves the Proteas. I tell you what, the way we turned it around and then finished it against India transformed this team. We have the best bowling attack in the tournament, every side we've faced has been bowled out, and when ABDV is back, a top-5 that has all the experience you would want at this level.

    I call an India-SA final, SA to bat first and an India chase that goes down to the wire. It's been that sort of tournament, and maybe this time we won't be the guys who blink.

  • Comment number 20.

    India's route to the final is clear and from the other side it is a close call between srilanka and south africa. My money is on a india/srilanka final with india winning it in Mumbai. Australians have made a big mistake by choosing to go with pace attack and i think they will need a miracle to win against india.

    India in all their matches have been tinkering with their bowling attack and we may finally see the bowling attack they might like to play unchanged till the final.

  • Comment number 21.

    Whilst the players have put in the effort to produce some wonderfully entertaining cricket, the format of the tournament is blatantly farcical. 42 matches have been played to bring us to this quarter-final stage, where we shall see the 8 "top" test playing nations slugging out a 7-match knockout tournament. What was the point of those first 42 matches (85% of the tournament) ? Further, there remains a possibility that the eventual "World Champions" can take the trophy home without having played a single match against 3 test playing nations. Bring back the "Super Sixes" format.

  • Comment number 22.

    my results are as follows:
    Pak win
    SA win
    Aus Win
    Sri Win.

    Semis
    Pak Win
    SA win

    Final
    SA win

  • Comment number 23.

    I somehow agree although a lot of games are going to be very close calls. Beating Sri-Lanka in their den is going to be extremely difficult for not only England but any other team who sees them in Semi-Final (i.e. South-Africa), thus Sri-Lanka should get to final.
    India on the other hand has toughest road with Australia and Pakistan on their way, so that's a hard pick but then anyone else would be same.

  • Comment number 24.

    I'm pretty sure Aus/pak teams would not like to meet india before the final if you ask them contrary to what is stated above. Aus coach Nielson has already declared the match as mini-final and that goes to show that Aussies think this is the end of the road for them.

    Pakistan's batting is too brittle and they are just not good enough to chase any total above 250. Aussies on the other are just scared of the turning ball. At this moment, there are only 3 teams capable of winning the trophy, india/SL/SA.

  • Comment number 25.

    Srilanka will beat England, though it will be a tight game depending on who wins the toss. Therefore If Srilanka bats first and post a total of 250+ on this Premadasa pitch England would be hard pressed against the Srilankan bowling attack.

    Australia will edge out India. Both are impressive teams but on the big matches Australia will do whatever possible to win.

    Pakistan will win against the Windies but if Gayle fires real time big and carries on what he did against England and bats till the 40 th over Pakistan will be washed over. (Anybody remembers his 92 at the recent KFC Big Bash!!!!)

    South Africa will coast over unless Brendon Mcllum and Taylor fires real big and Vettori recovers and bowls with his best form.

  • Comment number 26.

    My Prediction:

    Quarters: England will beat Sri Lanka.
    India will beat Australia.
    South Africa will beat New Zealand.
    Pakistan will beat West Indies.

    Semis: South Africa will beat England.
    India will beat Pakistan.

    Final: South Africa will beat India.

  • Comment number 27.

    The days of Aussie dominance on the big matches are gone. They recently lost the last couple of trination series at home to england and india and also the T20 final to England. They no longer have the supermen to power them on big matches.

  • Comment number 28.

    Pakistan vs England Final any one?

  • Comment number 29.

    @andy1005

    "Get Tendulkar out for anything less than 10 and they collapse easily with their bowlers being distinctly average/below average."

    I suppose thats exactly what happened against the West Indies on Sunday where Tendulkar scored 2. Yuvraj scored a century. Kohli contributed and then West Indies were all out for less than 200.

    I think India will win. They are under huge pressure at home to win but they are capable of getting the job done.

  • Comment number 30.

    I said before the tournament that it was very open and it will come to the side who can manage to win 3 in a row from now.

    I think India will not, though. The only times they have won ICC tournaments, is when they've had no expectations, like in '83 against one of the best West Indies teams, and when they won the first T20 competition, with a bunch of new, young players, having not ever played the 20 over format before. When the pressure's been on...India have failed to deliver.

    India have previously got beat in the semis in when they've previously held the tournament...and I can see it happening again.

    I don't know why, but I can see England doing the impossible and winning it. They seem to have a knack of winning big games, and they will be underdogs in Sri Lanka, but most of that side won the T20 tournament last year, when they gave the Sri Lanka's a beating in the semis, and they seem to have a winning mentality.

  • Comment number 31.

    @ andy1005,
    I guess you didn't watch Ind-WI match on Sunday. Tendulkar was out on 0.4th over for 2 and the rest is history :-)

  • Comment number 32.

    I predict a Pakistan v South Africa final, i think Pakistan have a varied attack and India might bow to the expectation and pressure bestowed upon them:

    http://www.suite101.com/content/cricket-world-cup-quarter-final-preview-a360759

  • Comment number 33.

    No, I did watch it.

    That wasn't my point. West Indies are a trash team. Get Tendulkar out for a really low score against QUALITY opposition and India will nose dive.

  • Comment number 34.

    Ive already put my money where my mouth is, South Africa to win it.

  • Comment number 35.

    Before the tournament I called it as:

    1. India
    2. Sri Lanka
    3/4. Australia & South Africa.

    Since India and Australia play each other that is obviously wrong but I agree with the author and am now replacing the convicts with Pakistan.

    India have such strength in batting and are so difficult to beat at home.

    Obviously I would rather England but I can't see us functioning well enough - though expect us to give Sri Lanka a good game.

    Pakistan may throw a spanner in my works (and pre tournament bet on India) - I am really hoping that is the semi, it would be a massive occassion and the classic battle of bat vs ball.

  • Comment number 36.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 37.

    Quite biased opinions; especially about Pakistan's batting weaknesses to be exposed by India. If any teams were to expose the batting weakness of Pakistan it were Sri Lanka and Australia with the most formidable bowling attacks. India has no bowling attack, and are completely relying on their batsmen to win them the games, and you expect their bowlers to win them the semifinal? Also England will be a force to reckon with. Sri Lanka, sadly will be knocked out, courtesy of Strauss and Swanny G!

  • Comment number 38.

    These questions have not much relevance to this blog.
    But I would like to ask why the highlights of the Zimbabwe v Kenya is not available online and why was only one minute highlight of that match was shown last night on the Cricket World Cup highlights programme. Why did the BBC not show the full highlights of that match? Will highlights of that match be available on the BBC Sport website soon or do I have to go to another website online to watch full highlights of that match?

  • Comment number 39.

    I'm English too, but the ridiculous bias towards them in this forum is laughable!! There's no way they will get past Sri Lanka in Colombo. They have been shown up to be a very average one-day side, as their ranking suggests, and will be quarter final fodder for Murali and co. I hate to see the Aussies win, but i have just get that feeling. The winner of their tie with India will probably make the final, and with all their experience if they get that far it would be a brave person to back against them. I think the glamour tie will be SA against SL in the semi, and could be Murali's last game in the international set up so the atmosphere will be electric. It has the potential to be a great knock-out phase......

  • Comment number 40.

    I back SA to win this. Every team has weaknesses. If SA hold their nerve they are going to win this for sure. They are the best team by a country mile. Team like Pakistan depends on some fluke wins and few collapse from oppositions. SL is close second. But they are top heavy. India has its own share of problems. But some of the results in the world cup are bizzarre. Pakistan beating OZ is one. OZ has been kicking them like a football for the last 15 years like no other team. All of a sudden this happens. So you need a bit of luck in this world cup too. England lacks power hitters.

  • Comment number 41.

    Pak should beat the windies.
    Aus to hammer India.
    SA.
    SL.

    SA will beat SL.
    Aus will beat Pak.

    SA to win it.

  • Comment number 42.

    Re Karthick, Pakistan topped their group beating SL and Aus and you call it bizzar.Ind beat one team of note in windies so you should be worried because your team is going out on thursday.

  • Comment number 43.

    I'm not a big cricket fan but proud to say England's antics have really got me intrigued with the World Cup.

    Judging on their other results it quite frankly wouldn't have made a difference who England played, just assume they will bow out in style or progress in an epic.

  • Comment number 44.

    Say what you want love90s. Pakistan is an utterly mediocre side who got lucky due to toss and unavailability malinga in the first match and casualness of Aussies. They were handed prison pounding by NZ and Canada while batting. THey have the worst top 3 of the tournament. Umar Gul has a terrible average against better teams like SA and India. Group A comprises of mediocre sides, played on mediocre pitches. Group B had most of the good players. World no.1 Amla world no.2 ABDV world no.3 Kohli.... can i go on? There are so many inform players Pakistan didn't have to face.

  • Comment number 45.

    Pakistan V West Indies : It has a feel of two teams who on their day with the X-factor and explosive power hitting of Razzaq,Afridi,U.Akmal, Gayle, and Pollard; have the potential to blow any team away. However, both teams have a tendency of flattering to deceive when it matters most. They are both known for having very brittle batting line-ups which often leads to calamitous collapses on the odd occasion. I just hope that the likes of Gayle, Pollard, Akmal, Razzaq and mr brainless Afridi produce some fireworks so that we remember this match as a cracking contest of power ball striking at it's best; rather than a damp squib that fizzles out into a contest of lackadaisical thinking and insipid decision making.

    WEST INDIES TO WIN WITH GAYLE PRODUCING A FINE CENTURY.

    India v Australia: Now this is a contest which could be decided by argueably the great players of their era's with both looking to make their mark one last time.
    The dual of Tendulkar V Ponting. Whilst one has seemed to flourish in recent times and re-established his ODI hunger, the other is battling for one last effort. But do not put it past Ponting to deliver. The guy is made for the big stage. (although, i can't stand the guy) He is a fine player who knows that he is expected to produce when his team needs it most. Tendulkar, on the other hand with have the huge burden of a raucous indian crowd urging him to score his 100th hundred in all forms against an attack of Australia who heavily rely on pace. If Tait and Johnson offer up some filth that they are known too; I can see Sehwag and Tendulkar causing mayhem. If they fire; well, then the Indian bowling attack will really be tested.

    INDIA TO WIN IN A THRILLING CONTEST

    New Zealand v S.Africa: Well, on paper, it doesn't look a contest. A formidable line-up of South Africa; who this time, have all the bases covered. Some awesome bowling options with the world class speed of Steyn; the height and bounce of Morkel;the best all-rounder in Kallis; a great option in Peterson; and the added variant in the leggy of Tahir. And that's just their bowling. With their batting, you have Amla, Kallis and AB De Villiers who are amongst the best in the business in this form of the game, in turn; making the Kiwi's chances very challenging to say the least. If Taylor,McCullum and Guptill can produce some fireworks and show some fight, along with the experienced head of Styris,Oram and Vettori if fit; then we may see a contest of sorts.

    SOUTH AFRICA TO WIN THANKS TO SPIN.

    Sri Lanka v England: Well, as an England supporter, I am obviously hoping for an England victory. However, it is going to be a mammoth task. On a ground where results will tell you the final outcome is almost dependent on winning the toss and setting a total really does make it crucial. Dew will play a huge factor, and I am just hoping we win it and set the Sri Lanka's a score of around 230 plus. They do heavily really on Jayawardena and Sangakkara and if we can set a defendable target and take early wickets; it would really put them under the cosh with an expectant Colombo crowd. Dilshan has his moments, but I feel he is vulnerable early on. With their bowling, they have match winners; no doubt about that. Having said that, if they prepare a pitch to hopefully suit the home side favouring spin; then it may also work in England's favour for someone like Swann who has proven time and time again; if he is given a pitch that offers a little, he can tear teams apart. In terms of batting I would personally take a punt of opening with Bopara. All the talk is of Bell taking up the challenge. But, I feel that the Sri Lankan's will start with spin, and at the moment, Ian Bell has looked far from comfortable - irrespective of contrary beliefs that he is our best player of spin. He has looked very stagnated at the crease unable to rotate the strike to keep the scoreboard ticking. Bopara offers the ability to keep the runs flowing and he is a very wristy player who is very use to these pitches. Building a solid foundation is crucial to us winning this game with mr reliable coming in at three, and having a proven finisher in Morgan to set a total from the 30th over onwards.

    ENGLAND TO WIN IN ANOTHER NAIL BITER.

    SEMI'S
    SOUTH AFRICA V ENGLAND (SOUTH AFRICA WIN)
    INDIA V WEST INDIES (INDIA WIN)

    FINAL
    INDIA V SOUTH AFRICA (SOUTH AFRICA WIN)

    Then at least England have the notion of knowing that they were the only team in the tournament to beat the eventual winners!!

  • Comment number 46.

    you wrote in your prediction that Pakistan weak batting to be exposed by India in semifinal.It means India in semis without any concern according to you. am i right?

  • Comment number 47.

    Either Srilanka or Pakistan will win this world cup..
    Expecting a win from England
    India will not enter into semis..

  • Comment number 48.

    Pakistan vs West Indies : Definitely Pakistan with their strong bowling attack.

    India vs Australia : India will be playing in extreme pressure but if they manage to keep there self calm. There is no doubt about Indias Victory

    New Zeland South Africa : Not that much thrilling contest . South Africa having the best side. with Hashim Amla ABD.

    Sirilanka vs England : This game would be definitely as interesting as finals. Both of the teams having good sides. really hard to predict but I would go with Sirilanka

  • Comment number 49.

    As this is my first post I will be as open as possible.

    I do not feet that Oliver is being unbiased when calling the predictions. The team that has not performed to the best of their abilities is the Pakistan team as everyone will agree, but they still topped their group.

    All this talk of india being favourites, is wishful thinking, because twice in this tournament they have not been able to defend a total of 300+. that tells you something about their bowling attack? yet everone is still under the impression they are favourites? Has it occured that the reason that they collapse so often whilst batting first is the pressure they must be under to set an astronomical score, because Dhoni knows their bowlers are very suspect?

    I make no bones about the fact that I support Pakistan, I also believe that if Pak win the toss and bat first, and set a score of 270+ against anyone left in this tournament, then they will have a extremely good chance of winning that match. So far the Pak bowling attack is the best in the tournament by far (granted they had a hiccup against the black caps).

    Which leads me to my predictions:-

    Pak to beat Windies, but I believe it will be tight.
    Aus to beat India, only if Dhoni wins the toss and decides to bat first. If he wins the toss then he should chase (batting is theri strength not the bowling).
    NZ vs SA, SA to win as they have the second strongest bowling and batting line up in the tournament.
    SL vs Eng, the toss will be a huge factor, if England win the toss then they have a chance.

    so semi final line up will be (my predictions)

    Pak vs Ind
    SA vs Sri

  • Comment number 50.

    The only way England can win is for SL to bat first, and England (get lucky?) to bowl out their top order cheaply.
    It'll then be squeaky bum time as wickets fall to the spinners chasing a low target.

    SA will choke again, and the pressure will become too much for India.

    So its SL or England for me.

  • Comment number 51.

    Further to my predicitons earlier I would also like to add that if my quater final predictions come true then the semi finals will depend on the toss.

    Pak vs Ind, if Pak win the toss, then they will have a very good chance of winning the match, as the Indians will know the Paks like to set a score and then defend it, if the Indians win the toss then they will bat first also, but what will be a good score? will the home crowd pressure get to them?

    Sri Vs SA, another tight toss coin to decide this semi also, win the toss and bat first.

    So my final line up will be:-

    Pak vs Sri

  • Comment number 52.

    I guess Mr. Oliver Brett has predicted wonderfully. Ind vs Sri at Wankhede for sure !!!
    Two strong teams battling for the cup leaving the rest behind.

  • Comment number 53.

    Sunil Gavaskar knows what he's talking about! England have had a roller-coaster in the Group Stage, but they have raised their game against the sternest opposition. This ability to win against the odds deep into a game suggests that they are battle-hardened in ways that the others are not. What's more, their ranks have been refreshed with new faces (though I am not sure that Luke Wright can be consistent at this level). Eoin Morgan is back (a better bat than KP these days, and a true team man); Treadwell has shown that he has skill and a level head and is an unknown on this stage (and that has to be an advantage); even less is known about Jade Dernbach - and he really could be the joker in the pack. Let's hope he plays!

    In a close encounter, captaincy in cricket - above all other sports - is a major factor. Now, Andrew Strauss is improving all the time. He takes calculated risks and his bowling changes are thought out and strategic Above all, his players play for him. England are the most cohesive unit in the competition, with the possible exception of the Kiwis. There are underlying tensions elsewhere.

    If England's batsmen can keep their heads and build a respectable score, then I can't see many sides living with the pressure of England's bowling attack backed with fielding that gives nothing and is capable of brilliance.

    In sum, England are equipped to spring a surprise.

  • Comment number 54.

    Was anyone else hoping that Windies would beat India and leap-frog us in the table so we'd get Pakistan? I would have fancied our chances better against them than SL. Still looking for our "long"tail to wag at some point. Want to see Swann hit 50 of 20 balls.

  • Comment number 55.

    I think this is going to be a cracking WC.

    I am banking on a South African win because they have the best balanced team in the world cup. Smith and Kallis look to be gaining some form. Add that to the already in from Amla,AB and JP and you have a brilliant top 5. The bowling is magnificent and has alot of variety.

    SA ALL THE WAY!!

    BRING IT HOME BOYS!

  • Comment number 56.

    Will Steyn & Morkel be blunted on a low, slow turner?

  • Comment number 57.

    sorry england fans they england will be back to the uk on sunday or day after the game over with sri lankans.

  • Comment number 58.

    56. At 09:51am on 22nd Mar 2011, Eyetoldyouso wrote:
    Will Steyn & Morkel be blunted on a low, slow turner?
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    That's why I think we will do well. We have variety in our attack. Tahir, Botha, Peterson, Faf and Duminy to an extent. the squad is well rounded and wickets are coming from all places. our bowling has bowled out every team we have played thus far, the only team to do so.

  • Comment number 59.

    "Will Steyn & Morkel be blunted on a low, slow turner?"

    Somewhat. But (a) they've done alright so far on generally unhelpful pitches (Steyn with reverse swing, Morkel with variable bounce), and (b) we have the spin options to take advantage of a low, slow turner.

    Winning the toss and batting first is going to be helpful usually, but the big plus for SA was the psychological boost they received from the India win. That was the turning point in the tournament, if we go on to win from here, 9/29 in 9 overs and then chasing down 300 was the game-changer.

  • Comment number 60.

    There is no stand out team in this tournament,which makes it so interesting to see how the quarter finals will go.Will New Zealand play like they did against Pakistan or Sri Lanka?

    I'm going for Pakistan,Sri Lanka,New Zealand and India in the semi finals with Pakistan winning the final against Sri Lanka.

  • Comment number 61.

    My prediction,
    India, Pakistan, South Africa and Srilanka in semis.
    India and South Africa in Final
    And South Africa winning the world cup

  • Comment number 62.

    I'm not a fan of Pakistan (who is?) but they are the dark horses, the wounded animals. Afridi has shown he can win games on his own against big teams. Would anyone really be surprised if India crumbled under the pressure and lost? Gambhir is overrated, open with Viru and Sachin, put Yuvraj and Dhoni up the order so they can play proper innings. Pathan has been useless too, get his brother in, he can bowl at least! No Rohit Sharma?

    Sri Lanka - you get the impression that as with the 20/20 WC, as goes Dilshan, so do the team. They could only be a couple of big Dil-knocks away from the title.

    England - need to get rid of the bad performers living on reputation. And play the outsiders. Still, it's a madmans dream to expect them to win. So no surprise everyone thinks they will!

    Australia - I said to my more cricket savvy mates during the Ashes - why they hell isn't Bret Lee playing, he's mustard? Oh he's too old they said. Really? REALLY? Still, the Aussies simply don't have enough talent at the moment. India will probably dispose of them if they don't mentally collapse.

    Windies - good for a laugh

    Kiwis - Sometimes seem to have lots of talent, sometimes seem painfully mediocre

    SA - good balance, Duminy is a great limited overs player. Great attack. Will be tough to budge, but somehow don't look spectacular enough to be winners. And the slow pitch issue will kill them.

  • Comment number 63.

    # jolshopsatoxfam
    Agree with most of the points you make but Gambhir overrated? i dont think so with an average of 50 in tests 9 centuries 15 halves and in one day an average of 40 with 90 centuries 21 halves! stats speak for themselves. Also scored five centuries in five consecutive innings, ill agree with you he might not be having the best tournament but he is a fantastic player.

  • Comment number 64.

    i meant to say 9 centuries not 90

  • Comment number 65.

    I think that, on the whole, it is a wide open tournament from here on in, with probably only the West Indies unequipped to win the tournament. All the other teams left, if they apply themselves and with some good fortune along the way, are capable of winning the whole shooting match.

    Breaking it down to each match though, this is how I see things materialising:

    Pakistan v West Indies: The only factor that puts any doubt in the outcome of this match are Pakistan's Jekyll and Hyde tendencies. They look like a pretty balanced side and I think their bowling attack will be too strong for the West Indies' batting line-up, which has crumbled whenever put under pressure so far. I don't see the West Indies being able to bowl Pakistan out either, which I think is their best chance of defeating them. The Windies only hope is to bat first and get Pakistan chasing down a competitive total, but I expect Pakistan to win through.

    India v Australia: This is a tough one to call because against India's home advantage comes the paralytic pressure and Australia's belief in this form of the game, having won the last 3 World Cup tournaments. Australia have arguably the better seam options, India the better spin options and in the conditions, you would this favours India. I think a lot of this comes down to who handles things better mentally. If India bat first and score in excess of 280 runs, they will be in the box seat. I tend to favour them less when chasing down a total, and some of their collapses in the tournament (albeit at times when they have already got good scores on the board) are concerning for them. I'm going to go for India, on the condition that they handle the mental tests that the Australians throw at them.

    England v Sri Lanka: I think what the tournament has shown up to now is that England have plenty of spirit and resilience that they can get through matches they should have been dead and buried in. In years gone by, they would have probably lost all of the matches against South Africa, West Indies and India in the circumstances they faced, instead of getting 2 wins and a tie. While I subscribe to the view, however, that teams can start slowly and get better (as Italy frequently have done in the football World Cup), the difference between England in 2011 and Pakistan in 1992, is that Pakistan had some world class match-winners who came to the party when that tournament got to the business end. England are going to need some big performances particularly from Strauss, Trott, Bell and Swann from here to emulate them. I think there is a big onus on spin and while Tredwell did very well against the West Indies, I'd question whether he is capable of being a threat to the top drawer batsmen. Sri Lanka were my tip before the tournament and if Jawardene and Sangakkara can produce from here, I think they have every chance of winning on the sub-continent, just as they did in 1996. I hope to be proven wrong, but I just think they will be too strong for England.

    South Africa-New Zealand: New Zealand are always well organised in this form of cricket and have for several years been a team that is capable of playing above the sum of its parts. That is what makes this match less than cut and dried, because otherwise, you would think that South Africa are far stronger in all departments. South Africa impressed me in how they recovered from their loss to England when they had the match in the bag by beating India in their next match, when at one stage India looked like getting a huge score. I think what gives South Africa a better chance this time is they have a good spinner, which they have desperately craved in previous tournaments. I think they will beat New Zealand, who seem very reliant on Ross Taylor.

    That would make the last 4 line-up India v Pakistan and South Africa v Sri Lanka. My call then would be that whoever wins the 2nd semi-final would go on and win the tournament. Pakistan against their great rival and bete-noire would be a great prospect and I tend to think Pakistan play at their best when they have a point to prove and I am sure they would be very motivated to beat the old enemy and deprive them of a place in the World Cup final on home soil, in a tournament which they themselves were not able to co-stage. On that basis, I'd fancy Pakistan to beat India, should that match come to fruition.

    With the other semi, I think South Africa-Sri Lanka would be a tough one to call and I think, as applies with the majority of the matches left, the team that bats first is likely to be at an advantage. Both sides have experienced match-winners in both batting and bowling departments, but with Sri Lanka on home soil and having a couple of players who will have experienced winning the trophy on home territory before, I am going to stick my head on the block and go for them to win and then beat Pakistan in the final.

  • Comment number 66.

    But this WC has been so unpredictable and exciting, I'm not sure anything will surprise me. Can't wait!

    ----------

    Really?

    Apart from England's performances against the minnows what exactly has been that unpredictable?

    The expected eight teams got through a far too long-winded group phase and I expect everything to go pretty muc to form from here on in.

    England - Sri Lanka could go either way, if England bowl decently I can't see them losing, if they don't it will be close, but either team should and will be beaten by South Africa in the semi's who will walk past New Zealand in the quarters.

    Pakistan will similarly walk over the Windies who are an accident waiting to happen before losing to the winner of Australia -India, which should be India, just.

    An India - South Africa final is what most people would have predicted before the tournament began, with the odd shout for Australia or England perhaps and it's likely what we will get.

  • Comment number 67.

    What has been unpredictable? England Drawing with India, Pakistan skittling out Aus, Windies blowing it against India and England, SA great run chase v India, England bowling out SA to win, Bangladesh coming back fromt he brink V England, Pak chasing down Sri Lanka, SL blowing away NZ.....shall I go on? My guess is you haven't watched many games, because if you had you would have seen a lot of unpredictable finishes and lots of very exciting cricket. If you just looked at the group tables you could say 'yes, predictable', but the quality of any tournament is based on the excitement of the journey, not the eventual outcome.

    If you think this is long winded, I can only guess that you didn't have the misfortune of experiencing that last World Cup. That was long winded. This WC has been more exciting than the last 3, hands down. It might not be exciting enough for you, but what exactly are you comparing it to?

  • Comment number 68.

    i think - Pak and SA for sure will win...Eng-SL..tough call..SL maybe and then Aus-Ind...very tough...i am already biting my nails. It is really a world cup wide open...my heart wants India to win...but..!

  • Comment number 69.

    If not India then I want either SA or SL to win the WC...Not Oz..enough :P :P

  • Comment number 70.

    All teams are just thereabouts and no one has yet dominated the field as each have lost a game in group stages. Everything to play for in knock outs.
    I reckon Pakistan, India, South Africa and Sri Lanka to make it to the next round.

  • Comment number 71.

    Our Indian frontline batters and bowlers are peaking at the right time. Sachin, Veeru, Gautam, Yuvraj, Virat and MSD have adjusted themselves to the requirements of the serious show. Pathan and Raina are waiting to explode if chances come their way. In the bowling department Zak, Bhajji, Yuvraj, Ashwin, Chawla, Shanta, Munaf and Ashish are all potential match-winners on their day. We certainly stand a good chance but we need to respect our opponents who too show their customary zeal and hunger to excel in front of the intensely passionate and knowledgeable cricket-crazy population of the sub-continent. I am eagerly waiting to watch the exciting contests between bat and ball in the QFs, SFs and the finals.


    Dr. Cajetan Coelho

  • Comment number 72.

    This world cup is so wide open. Anyone can win this world cup. This has been the best world cup for a long time. Most of the group matches were excellent, has brought 50 over cricket back into life. All 8 countries at this stages are equally good.

    My predictions are:
    Pak bt WI
    Ind bt Aus
    SA bt NZ
    SL bt Eng

    Semi Finals:
    Ind bt Pak
    SL bt SA

    Final: Sri Lanka bt India

    From now the real big and exciting matches begin

  • Comment number 73.

    So far my one prediction went spot on. India vs England tie. I would put my money on two teams Pakistan and England which is same as putting money on Liverpool vs AC Milan in champions league final.

  • Comment number 74.

    As an India fan I naturally would wish for an India win but this Cup is too open. South Africa and Sri Lanka look the best equipped while England is the team that has been on the rise and now seems to match them. Australia as always have been great on the big occasions and so get into the picture.
    But it is unfortunate that a quarterfinal brings Australia and India head-on. The match is too close for me to take a call but I pray for an Indian win. India's problems lie in bowling and I hope we bring in Raina for Yusuf Pathan and Chawla so that we go in for a 3 spinner combi. The match will hinge largely on how we face their pace attack which I feel is quite a good one. India will also need to wake up and realise it needs to field better. Hopefully guys like Kohli and Raina will add zing on the field.
    Here is hoping for a cracking Q/F.

  • Comment number 75.

    I'm backing the Kenyan's. They look pretty tasty.

  • Comment number 76.

    Very exciting draw. Its been such an unpredictable tournament that any of the teams left could reaslistically win it. My heart says England. My head says India.

  • Comment number 77.

    Pakistan V West Indies : It has a feel of two teams who on their day with the X-factor and explosive power hitting of Razzaq,Afridi,U.Akmal, Gayle, and Pollard; have the potential to blow any team away. However, both teams have a tendency of flattering to deceive when it matters most. They are both known for having very brittle batting line-ups which often leads to calamitous collapses on the odd occasion. I just hope that the likes of Gayle, Pollard, Akmal, Razzaq and mr brainless Afridi produce some fireworks so that we remember this match as a cracking contest of power ball striking at it's best; rather than a damp squib that fizzles out into a contest of lackadaisical thinking and insipid decision making.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Well I got that prediction pretty spot on didn't I. LOL

    Well, this bit anyway..."damp squib that fizzles out into a contest of lackadaisical thinking and insipid decision making."

  • Comment number 78.

    Seems very fare predictions....
    India will surely win worldcup this time !!

  • Comment number 79.

    I agree with #39. We are a very average team and we have been shown to be such. We should have won the game against India but SA and WI lost their games for us.

    I disagree with #40. SA are not the best team by a country mile. They collapsed badly against England. Also if India hadn't committed harakiri after being 268/1 after 40 overs (it wasn't good bowling or fielding, just stupid shots), SA would have been facing a target of 350+ and would have been thrashed. The best teams in the tournament so far have been Pakistan and India.

  • Comment number 80.

    The 4 Quarter Finals have been very good. The Semis are now SL v NZ and Pak v Ind. Both going to be massive matches next week.
    I still predict it will be India v Sri Lanka Final next Saturday!

  • Comment number 81.

    Your prediction was correct
    India won the 2011 Cricket World Cup!
    They have been the best team of the tournament

  • Comment number 82.

    Not a bad call overall i'd say!

  • Comment number 83.

    Absolutely Wonderful prediction

  • Comment number 84.

    The Author is right on all the way except for SA vs NZL match. But a grat prediction none the less.

  • Comment number 85.

    England lost by 10 wickets!! Hahaha...

  • Comment number 86.

    It's usually fun reading the predictions of cricket experts and commentators after the fact. Oliver looks like you're a definite cut above the rest though - your prediction was spot on! (lol.. clearly you're beyond getting affected by the commentator's curse - Indian fans all over the world will be most grateful!)

  • Comment number 87.

    Looking back at this, wow - Oliver you just got one wrong (SA were beaten by NZ) out of eight. To predict an Ind-SL final with India just edging it is quite amazing!

    Did you eat Paul the Octopus when it died?

  • Comment number 88.

    Just in case you know...Your predictions were spot on 85% of time. Thats cool. Can you predict me the super lotto numbers for this Friday ;).

    BTW incase you should know ..on a very popular Pakistani forum called pakpassion - you were ridiculed no end for your prediction that Indian bowlers would expose Pakistani batsmen. Some of the names you were called cannot be typed here. Guess the semifinal proved your understanding of cricket was way ahead of them. Your prediction for a close SL final with India edging it was also true.

 

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