“I am looking forward to them having a good game against England, which is their biggest test.”
By: Pramod Thomas
Former South African batter AB de Villiers has offered his prediction for the ICC T20 World Cup final, saying that India will play New Zealand in the summit clash and lift the trophy for the second time.
The first semifinal of the tournament between New Zealand and Pakistan will take place on Wednesday at Sydney. On the other hand, the second semifinal between India and England will take place in Adelaide on Thursday. “India and New Zealand will play the final and I think India will win,” said de Villiers to ANI.
de Villiers was at the launch event of the first edition of The Last Man Stands (LMS) India Super League 2023, the world’s largest amateur T20 cricket league in India.
India does not really have a good history with New Zealand at the ICC events. Recently, they lost to the Kiwis in a must-win match in the group stage of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021. They also lost the ICC World Test Championship final to New Zealand and the 2019 50-over World Cup semifinal to the Kiwis.
On the form of individual players in the Indian team, de Villiers said, “Everyone is playing well. Suryakumar looks in good form, Virat looks in good form. Rohit has not had his best run, but he will come to the party when it matters the most. He is a fantastic player. The whole batting line-up and team are talented. I am looking forward to them having a good game against England, which is their biggest test. If they win the semifinals, they will lift the trophy.”
Virat is in red-hot form in this tournament so far. In his five appearances, he has scored 246 runs at an average of 123.00 and three half-centuries. This includes his instant-classic knock of 82* against Pakistan at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), which even he has termed as his “best T20I knock”.
Suryakumar Yadav has also performed brilliantly, scoring 225 runs in five matches at an average of 75.00 with three fifties.
Pacers Arshdeep Singh (10 wickets), Hardik Pandya (8 wickets), Mohammad Shami (6 wickets), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (4 wickets) and spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (6 wickets) have also done a fantastic job as a bowling unit.
However, top-order has not found its peak form yet. Though KL Rahul has scored 123 runs in five innings with two half-centuries, he struggled in his first three games. Skipper Rohit Sharma has also managed only 89 runs, with his best score being 53 against the Netherlands.