ICC World Cup

World Cup 2019: India already have one foot in the final, feels Michael Clarke

Former Australia captain Michael Clarke feels India will storm into the final of the World Cup 2019 without much trouble even though they have to deal with New Zealand in the semi-finals in Manchester on Tuesday.

India have been the best team in the tournament so far with seven wins out of 8 matches while one game was washed out. India topped the points table in the league phase and thus, were drawn to face New Zealand, who finished as the fourth-best team after nine matches.

Coming to the semi-final at Old Trafford, India are heading into the game on the back of three successive wins against West Indies, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. New Zealand on the other hand, lost their last three matches against Pakistan, Australia and England.

Kane Williamson’s team therefore, are low on confidence and will be under pressure in the big-ticket clash against Virat Kohli’s India, reckons Michael Clarke.

“No-brainer for me, India is in the final. In cricket you should never say that, if I was an Indian player I wouldn’t be thinking like that or if I was Virat Kohli I wouldn’t be thinking like that.

“But from outside, India is on fire they are playing unbelievable cricket at the moment and in my opinion they already have one foot in the final.

“But they cannot take anything for granted and play good, hard cricket they have been the whole tournament,” Michael Clarke told India Today on the eve of the first semi-final.

“New Zealand at the moment are really low on confidence because of their most recent performances. That is what is going to make the game so hard against India. India are flying with confidence because of their most recent performances.”

One of the major reasons behind India’s success has been the form that vice-captain Rohit Sharma is in at the moment.

Rohit is the leading run-scorer in the tournament at the moment with 647 runs from 8 matches at an average of 92.42 with five hundreds and couple of fifties.

Last week he became the only batsman in World Cup history to hit five centuries in a single edition after his match-winning 103 against Sri Lanka in India’s final league game.

Looking at the way Rohit has been batting in this tournament, Clarke feels there is no bowler at present who can stop the Hitman.

“At the moment no one vs Rohit. He is in a different league, how do you get him out? He is a batting genius at the moment, he’s been the batsman of the tournament. Him and David Warner have been the two standouts for me,” Clarke said.

Article source: https://www.indiatoday.in/sports/cricket-world-cup-2019/story/india-vs-new-zealand-semifinal-world-cup-2019-preview-michael-clarke-exclusive-1564923-2019-07-08?utm_source=rss

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