World Cup 2019: South Africa legend Jonty Rhodes picks World Cup finalists
World Cup 2019: India finished the group stages at the top of the points table with just one loss (against England) while Australia narrowly missed out on the top spot after they were defeated in their final game by South Africa.Updated: Jul 09, 2019 14:45 IST
Former South Africa cricketer Jonty Rhodes has predicted that the ICC World Cup 2019 final will be played between India and Australia. In the semi-final stage, India will take on New Zealand while defending champions Australia will face hosts England. India finished the group stages at the top of the points table with just one loss (against England) while Australia narrowly missed out on the top spot after they were defeated in their final game by South Africa. While Rhodes was quite clear about his picks for the final, he added that there will be no favourites.
“Australia are going to play India in the final. But, no one is a favourite,” Rhodes told Hindustan Times in the sidelines of an event organised at the British High Commissioner’s residence in New Delhi by Bira 91.
While India and Australia have certainly been the top performers in the ongoing competition, it has been a massive disappointment for South Africa. Despite winning their last group stage encounter against Australia by 10 runs, the Proteas finished the tournament in the seventh spot with seven points and a net run rate of -0.030.
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When asked about South Africa’s performance in the ICC World Cup 2019, Rhodes said, “ The last twelve months have not been that pretty when it comes to their domestic results and they did not know their best XI. When you go to a World Cup and you are not even sure about your playing XI, I think you are in trouble.”
“Their performance has been quite disappointing but as far as rankings are concerned, they were quite generously poised at No. 3 before the tournament. They were unable to replace AB de Villiers and you can’t accept him back at the last moment. Also, the players who were expected to perform did not work out in the tournament,” he added.
South Africa started their tournament on an extremely disappointing run with losses against Bangladesh and India. They did win their game against Afghanistan but with losses to New Zealand and Pakistan meant that they were almost out of the tournament with half of the fixtures still to be played. Rhodes blamed their strategy for the disappointing run of form and said that they lacked any sort of ‘Plan B’ when it came to playing higher ranked opponents.
“They really did not have a Plan B. Plan A was to bowl fast. But England has two summers. One is cold and swinging conditions while others one is flat and hot. You can’t just have Plan A here. You cannot just expect to bowl people over with sheer pace. So, in my opinion, they need different approaches to the game,” he concluded.
First Published: Jul 08, 2019 14:19 IST