We’re less than a week into the Cricket World Cup, but there are already a couple of key talking points coming out of the first few results. After jus
We’re less than a week into the Cricket World Cup, but there are already a couple of key talking points coming out of the first few results. After just seven games, there are already some questions marks for two heavyweight contenders, including the host nation, as well as a couple of unexpected results.
So, what have we learnt so far?
A Rocky Start for England
England headed into the tournament as the ICC’s number one ranked one-day team, host nation and bookmakers’ favourites. Plenty of pressure, then, but the much-anticipated opener against South Africa went to plan.
After an OK performance with the bat, England’s attack, led by a 3-27 performance from Jofra Archer, proceeded to dismantle the South African mid to lower order after an initial period of resistance. Despite a forgettable day for opener Jonny Bairstow, who succumbed to a golden duck, England had successfully avoided an opening misstep. However, the upset was still to come.
A series of mistakes in the field, coupled with an electric Pakistani batting effort, set England a daunting 348 run chase in their second game. Despite centuries from Joe Root and Jos Buttler, England fell short by 14 runs, giving an unexpected win to a Pakistan team that had been skittled in 21.4 overs by the West Indies only three days prior.
The hosts will be wincing at their performance, having cleaned out Pakistan 4-0 in the ODI series only a month ago. Heading into their third game at 1-1, the questions around England’s ability to deliver at their home world cup have already begun, with the answers to following soon.
Ominous Signs for South Africa
English concerns have been compounded by South Africa’s nightmare start to the tournament, who was a victim to the first upset of the tournament with a 21-run loss to Bangladesh. Fast bowler Dale Steyn, who missed the first two games with a shoulder injury, has now been officially ruled out for the tournament following further complications.
Things get no easier for the world number three Proteas, with Wednesday’s game with India offering a very real chance of beginning the tournament on a three-game slide. Openers for fellow heavyweights New Zealand and Australia have been less dramatic, with comfortable wins over Sri Lanka and Afghanistan respectively.
The Party Has Just Begun
The good news for cricket fans is that the fun has very much only just begun, and the round-robin nature of the tournament means there’s a number of mouth-watering clashes on the horizon.
Thursday sees a potential slobber knocker between Australia and the West Indies, whilst England will look to redeem themselves against an upstart Bangladesh this Saturday. The following two days offer two big matchups, with India versus Australia on Sunday and another big test for South Africa against the West Indies to start the new week.
Indeed, fans won’t need to wait for any more than a couple of days across the tournament to see a major matchup or the home nation in action.
Only six days in, we’ve already seen the twists and turns that come with the 50 over format. Over the next week, England will be looking to get back on track, whilst South Africa will be hoping their tough scheduling doesn’t leave them with four losses from four. Meanwhile, the likes of Bangladesh and Pakistan will be hoping to build on headline wins.
All in all, it’s been an intriguing start to the tournament, with no doubt plenty more to come. If you’re looking to recreate the heroics of the world cup yourself, head on over to Talent Cricket, where you can find everything you need.