‘India and Australia are standouts’ | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 03, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:11 AM, July 03, 2019

The Expert Opinion

‘India and Australia are standouts’

Although the West Indies will bid farewell to the World Cup against Afghanistan on Wednesday, I will be glued to the TV to see what happens in the next two weeks. We seem set for a thrilling finale.

Australia are already assured of a place in the semifinals and India are likely to join them. They have been the two stand-out teams for me at this World Cup. They have understood the conditions better than any of the others and have strolled through. That is the key here.

The wickets in this tournament have been excellent. They have provided an even contest between bat and ball. Australia and India are at home on them and that will be important when it comes to the knock-out games.

Australia have a lot of the old guard still going strong and that includes Mitchell Starc. He is one of the best around right now, knows these conditions and is swinging the ball perfectly. It will be tough for any side to face him, while Alex Carey could well turn out to be the star of this World Cup.

Carey was a relative unknown beforehand but he bats with such maturity. He has freedom to attack but also the technical skills needed to find the boundary. He is a bolter and I have loved watching him play.

India have a selection dilemma. England played the right kind of game against them by attacking the spinners and they need to strengthen their batting lower down the order.

England and New Zealand are likely to join those sides, while we can never rule out the exciting Pakistan and Bangladesh.

The Tigers have the best player in this tournament in Shakib Al Hasan. His bowling has been decent but his batting has been from a different planet – just ask the West Indies.

It’s been a tournament of ‘what ifs’ for my team and their defeat to Sri Lanka was another example. Nicholas Pooran was outstanding in the run-chase but lost his wicket at just the wrong time.

When you look at it, we have the talent with the bat. It’s far from doom and gloom. Sure, we have to learn from the mistakes and rectify them but I am very optimistic. We have had two centurions at the tournament and it really could, and should, have been four or five.

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