India vs Bangladesh: Let’s get practical. Bangladesh did beat us but it happened eight years back, in 2007. This Indian team seems invincible at the moment with all wins in the group stage. Only a special, a very special, effort can help Bangladesh stage an upset in the quarters. Playing in front of a packed MCG house just doesn’t make it a contest between bat and ball, it’s way more. And, a packed house cheering ‘India, India’ is just the catalyst Men in Blue need to accelerate their progress into the last four.
Prediction: One-sided contest in India’s favour.
Sri Lanka vs South Africa: Sri Lanka have the ingredients to tame the might of AB de Villiers and South Africa on Wednesday. The Lions don’t have the bowling threat of the old, but just enough utility can help them edge past South Africa. Lanka’s top-three, and Mahela Jayawardene, make a very formidable top-four, even against the like and might of Dale Steyn and Co.
Prediction: Sri Lanka will edge past South Africa in a closely-fought contest.
Pakistan vs Australia: Plenty at stakes on this contest. Not because it will decide who goes into the top-four, but the fact that the winner will play the winner of India and Bangladesh in the semis. If our prediction goes right and India seal the last-four spot, a mouth-watering India-Pakistan or India-Australia contest is there for the cards.
Over to the match now, Pakistan have peaked at the right time. The batting looks fresh and sorted, while the bowling is back in its elements. The only thing missing is Afridi’s Boom Boom, and a strong gut feeling suggests the ‘Lala’ will fire all cylinders against Australia. As far as Australia are concerned, they have done nothing wrong. And, that is where there is a possibility of over-confidence or complacency creeping in. Pakistan enjoyed a lot of success against the Kangaroos in the desert last year, and momentum, they say, can have a huge effect on the outcome of a contests.
Prediction: Close contest, and one player from either side will affect the outcome. It’s 60-40 in Pakistan’s favour.
New Zealand vs West Indies: Six games, six wins and it has been a dream run for the Kiwis so far. Facing New Zealand in Wellington is something even the top sides won’t like. So West Indies have a mountain to climb. A Chris Gayle special? Another Jason Holder burst with the new ball? Well, the odds are against the Windies and it seems they’ll be outplayed, like really outplayed, by the Brendon McCullum-led unit.
Prediction: New Zealand will outplay West Indies in all departments.
1) India vs Pakistan
2) New Zealand vs Sri Lanka
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