Based on how teams have performed until this point in the world cup 2019, hosts England, Australia and India seem to be the definite semifinalists. Speculation is about the fourth one. If we go by anything but weather, tournament already has its fourth contender: New Zealand.
World cup 2019: Remaining Fixtures
Till this point, New Zealand in World cup 2019 has played the full matches against the less threatening sides like Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh. Their match against India was washed out, handing them a point that may not have come easily otherwise. With the win in the first three games and sharing a point with India, New Zealand is comfortably positioned at third place in the table.
Their remaining fixtures are against West Indies, South Africa, England, Australia, and Pakistan. Based on the performances of all these five squads, England and Australia are the toughest opponents. Though the rest three are not the walkovers, the New Zealand team’s cricket quality is much better than them at the moment. Considering these aspects, Blackcaps are near certain in the top four.
Let’s suppose they lose one of the three games against West Indies, Pakistan and South Africa. Thus, collecting only 4 points from the available 6. With these 4 points, the total tally will reach 11.
Now, let’s look at the contests against Australia and England. These two ties are scheduled for 29th June and 3rd July respectively, in London and Chester-le-Street. Check out the weather of both these cities on the respective days. You’ll find rather damp days at both the locations. That’s 2 easy points from these fixtures.
Even with the minimal possibilities, New Zealand is good to collect 13 points and a positive NRR. The other fourth spot contenders have tougher opponents to face with only 2-3 points in their kitty right now. That reduces the possibility of them reaching the last-four stage to almost none. And with the likelihood of New Zealand collecting a point from the rain-affected game from the other three contests, they would well and truly be in the final four.
So, it’s near-certain that New Zealand will occupy the fourth world cup 2019 semi-finalist spot. It’s up to other teams to come out of their lumbers to take up the fourth possible spot.