Ravi Shastri (Photo Source: Twitter)
The action has intensified in the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 as the tournament moves into the knockout stages. India and New Zealand will lock horns in the first semi final on Wednesday, November 15 in Mumbai while Australia and South Africa will take on each other in the second semi final on November 16 in Kolkata.
Ahead of the two epic clashes, legendary cricketers Ravi Shastri and Ricky Ponting shared their views on the upcoming big games in the cricketing extravaganza. Shastri revealed his two finalists for the event and backed India and Australia to go against each other in the summit clash on November 19 in Ahmedabad.
“On October 08 during India’s first game of the tournament, I said that this is the dress rehearsel of the final. I feel that these two sides will be seen clashing in the finals as well,” said Shastri during ICC Quiz Night held at Glocal Junction in Mumbai.
Meanwhile, legendary Australian captain Ricky Ponting stated that the toss will play a crucial factor in he second semi final between Australia and South Africa at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
“The toss is going to play a crucial part in the second semi final as we saw during the game between India and South Africa that the pitch slowed down as the game progressed. Hence, the team batting first will have an advantage and toss will be crucial,” said Ponting.
India eager to end knockout jinx against the Kiwis
Further ahead in the event, the duo was asked to pick one player from India and New Zealand combined line ups that they would want in their teams. While Ponting chose star India batter Virat Kohli, Shastri picked the Indian skipper Rohit Sharma for his shrewd captaincy in the tournament so far and his explosive batting at the top.
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Meanwhile, India will look to end their knockout jinx in the first semi final as they’ve been consistently failing to win an ICC trophy despite qualifying for the knockout stages of seven of the last eight ICC events.