Tue Mar 24 (50 ovs)14:00 local (01:00 GMT | 06:30 IST)1st Semi-Final – New Zealand v South AfricaEden Park, Auckland
Thu Mar 26 (50 ovs)14:30 local (03:30 GMT | 09:00 IST)2nd Semi-Final – Australia v IndiaSydney Cricket Ground
New Zealand take on South Africa at home in the first semi on Tuesday.
The teams are evenly matched with New Zealand having the edge; they are unbeaten and are playing on home soil.
But have they peaked too soon? A perennial question in a tournament of this length.
South Africa have broken the hoodoo of never going past the knockout stage of a World Cup.
Is history in the making?
My selection: New Zealand.
Australia clash with India on Thursday.
The Kangaroos are favorites but pace may not be their ace at Sydney.
I am skeptical whenever the Aussies say that they can beat India on bouncy wickets.
Previous games and tours have shown that Indian pacers can make better use of the conditions than the locals.
Aussie pacers may be more effective on a traditional turning Sydney wicket than their Indian counterparts.
The home side would like to believe that they have the upper hand; India had not won a single match in the build-up to the World Cup except a friendly against Afghanistan.
The Indians have had a tremendous run and could go all the way. The Aussies loom in the defense of their title. If they beat them, they will be anointed odds-on favorites for the final.
What’s my prognosis?
The head says Australia but the heart says India.
That’s not quite anatomically correct.
The heart is but a muscle albeit the most important one.
So I will rephrase that: Reason dictates that I choose Australia.
My (rational) selection: Australia.