India, South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia currently occupy the top four positions in the ongoing Cricket World Cup standings, with each team having completed five out of their nine matches. However, the dream of advancing to the knockout stages is still alive for all ten teams as no team has been mathematically ruled out yet.
Here’s a look at the current state of affairs before the Pakistan and South Africa face-off on 27 October:
1. India: Unbeaten in Five Matches
Top Scorer: Virat Kohli (354 runs)Leading Wicket-taker: Jasprit Bumrah (11 wickets)
India, the host nation, is in a commanding position to secure a top-four finish, having won all five matches convincingly. Their well-rounded bowling attack has successfully restricted the opposition, making their second-innings targets achievable. With Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli leading the charge, it will be interesting to see India’s performance in a full 50-over match.
Upcoming Matches: England (29 October), Sri Lanka (2 November), South Africa (5 November), Netherlands (12 November)
2. South Africa: Four Victories, One Defeat
Top Scorer: Quinton de Kock (407 runs)Leading Wicket-takers: Kagiso Rabada, Gerald Coetzee, Marco Jansen (10 wickets each)
South Africa has made a strong statement in the tournament with four scores above 300, including a massive total against Sri Lanka. Their only setback was a surprising 38-run defeat to the Netherlands. However, with a robust batting lineup and a powerful middle order, South Africa is likely to overcome their second-innings struggles and secure a semi-final spot.
Upcoming Matches: Pakistan (27 October), New Zealand (1 November), India (5 November), Afghanistan (10 November)
3. New Zealand: Four Victories, One Defeat
Top Scorer: Rachin Ravindra (290 runs)Leading Wicket-taker: Mitch Santner (12 wickets)
New Zealand, the runners-up in the previous two Cricket World Cups, are well-positioned to secure another semi-final berth. They have won four matches convincingly but lost to India by four wickets. With a healthy net run rate, New Zealand needs two more victories to secure a spot in the knockout stages.
Upcoming Matches: Australia (28 October), South Africa (1 November), Pakistan (4 November), Sri Lanka (9 November)
4. Australia: Three Victories, Two Defeats
Top Scorer: David Warner (332 runs)Leading Wicket-taker: Adam Zampa (13 wickets)
Five-time champions Australia have been gaining momentum after starting the tournament with two losses. They have since secured three convincing victories, with their batters and bowlers performing well. Australia needs to win at least one of their upcoming matches against New Zealand and England to stay in the knockout stages.
Upcoming Matches: New Zealand (28 October), England (4 November), Afghanistan (7 November), Bangladesh (11 November)
5. Sri Lanka: Two Victories, Three Defeats
Top Scorer: Sadeera Samarawickrama (295 runs)Leading Wicket-taker: Dilshan Madushanka (11 wickets)
Sri Lanka’s performance has been hampered by injuries, but their impressive win against England has kept their semi-final hopes alive. The significant margin of victory has helped improve their net run rate.
Upcoming Matches: Afghanistan (30 October), India (2 November), Bangladesh (6 November), New Zealand (9 November)
6. Pakistan: Two Victories, Three Defeats
Top Scorer: Mohammad Rizwan (302 runs)Leading Wicket-taker: Shaheen Afridi (10 wickets)
Pakistan started the World Cup with two comprehensive victories but have since slipped. Their loss to Afghanistan could prove costly. The 1992 champions need to break their three-match losing streak in their next match against South Africa to keep their semi-final hopes alive.
Upcoming Matches: South Africa (27 October), Bangladesh (31 October), New Zealand (4 November), England (11 November)
7. Afghanistan: Two Victories, Three Defeats
Top Scorer: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (224 runs)Leading Wicket-takers: Naveen-ul-Haq, Rashid Khan (six wickets each)
Afghanistan is still in contention for a semi-final spot. They need to win at least three of their remaining four matches to advance. Their openers and spinners have been in good form, causing trouble for the opposition.
Upcoming Matches: Sri Lanka (30 October), Netherlands (3 November), Australia (7 November), South Africa (10 November)
8. Bangladesh: One Victory, Four Defeats
Top Scorer: Mahmudullah Riyad (198 runs)Leading Wicket-takers: Shakib Al Hasan, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Shoriful Islam (six wickets each)
Bangladesh started the World Cup with a win against Afghanistan, but subsequent losses have almost ended their semi-final hopes. They need to win all their remaining matches and hope for favourable outcomes in other matches to advance.
Upcoming Matches: Netherlands (28 October), Pakistan (31 October), Sri Lanka (6 November), Australia (11 November)
9. England: One Victory, Four Defeats
Top Scorer: Dawid Malan (220 runs)Leading Wicket-taker: Reece Topley (eight wickets)
England’s title defence is almost over, with only one victory so far. Injuries to key players have hampered their campaign. They need to win all their remaining matches and hope for favourable results in other matches to reach the semi-finals.
Upcoming Matches: India (29 October), Australia (4 November), Netherlands (8 November), Pakistan (11 November)
10. Netherlands: One Victory, Four Defeats
Top Scorer: Colin Ackermann (137 runs)Leading Wicket-taker: Bas de Leede (nine wickets)
The Netherlands’ semi-final hopes are almost over after a crushing loss to Australia. They need to win all their remaining matches to keep their slim hopes alive. Their victory over South Africa has been the highlight of their campaign.