2015 ICC Cricket World Cup – Knockout Probables

by Manshu on March 11, 2015

in Articles

As the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 inches towards the knockout stage, like a lot of other people, I was interested to see who India is likely to play in the quarterfinals, and assuming they win the quarterfinals, who will they play next?

Almost everyone knows that India will play Bangladesh in the quarterfinals next Thursday but when you look at the list of matches that have already been decided that can be slightly confusing.

The best World Cup schedule that I’ve seen is on Cricbuzz and if you look at it right now, you will see that they show that all the Pool A quarter finalists have their venues fixed but no one from Pool B has theirs fixed. This nonplussed me a little because if anything, the position of India as Pool B toppers is secured more solidly than any other team (except New Zealand) in Pool A so how are their venues fixed already?

It is easy to partly deduce that answer as the host having their venues fixed, but what of the rest?

It turns out that in order to facilitate people booking tickets and making travel arrangements, ICC decided the dates and places where the hosts will play their matches were they to reach the quarterfinals. In addition to that, they took the two next highest ODI ranked teams in Pool A (at the time) which were Sri Lanka and England and decided their venue in advance as well. If these two were not to make the quarter finals, then the next two teams would take their places.

This way the date and the venues of the quarterfinalists of Pool A was decided, and then ICC had the usual formula of the number one team of pool A playing the number four team of pool B, and so on.

So, the quarter finals go like this.

  • Quarter-final 1 – A1 v B4
  • Quarter-final 2 – A2 v B3
  • Quarter-final 3 – A3 v B2
  • Quarter-final 4 – A4 v B1

The above list is the one that has been talked about so far and that is the one that confused me a little because if you see the matches already decided then they don’t fit the list above.

Since the actual dates are as follows:

  • Wed 18 March: Sri Lanka vs TBD
  • Thu 19 March: Bangladesh vs TBD
  • Fri 20 March: Australia vs TBD
  • Sat 21st March: New Zealand vs TBD

If you see the two lists above, the New Zealand quarter final is the last one according to date, but according to the first list it is actually Quarter Final 1 since they are A1.

Essentially, this little confusion is what spurred me to write this post because you need to know if QF 1 is the one that’s earliest or the one with A1 v B4 to determine who India meets in the semi final (assumption duly noted).

The answer to my question is fairly obvious: that for the purposes of determining the semi finalists the position in the group and not the calendar dates will be used.

The semi finals will be held as follows:

  • Semi-final 1 – winner QF1 (A1 v B4) v winner QF3 (A3 v B2)
  • Semi-final 2 – winner QF2 (A2 v B3) v winner QF4 (A4 v B1)

Semi Finals: India v Australia?

According to the list above, India will play Semi Final 2 after beating Bangladesh in quarter finals (assumption duly noted again). Winner of QF2 will most likely be Australia after they beat whomever comes in their way. I say whomever comes in their way because Pool B is very close right now, but none of the teams who can come in number 3 look good to beat Australia.

ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 Knockout Probables

Let’s make some assumptions, and see who may come in where in the two groups.

First, the simple pool. Here is what the standings of Pool A will most likely look like.

  1. New Zealand (After beating Bangladesh)
  2. Australia (After beating Scotland)
  3. Sri Lanka
  4. Bangladesh (After losing to NZL)

Now, the hard one, Pool B.

  1. India
  2. South Africa (With a huge win against UAE and a high NRR)
  3. Pakistan (With a moderate win against Ireland)
  4. West Indies (With a win against UAE)

The difference in the NRR (Net Run Rate) between Pakistan and South Africa is so high that it doesn’t look like Pakistan can finish second in Pool B so they will either be third or if they lose to Ireland, fourth or out of the knockout. So in all likelihood, Pakistan, Ireland or West Indies will be third or fourth and it is really unlikely that they go past New Zealand and Australia in the quarter finals.

So then, it comes down to a semi final between Australia and India – are you ready for it?

{ 74 comments… read them below or add one }

mala March 11, 2015 at 9:39 PM

good write up.. we all know about paki’s.. anything which is do or die.. they stood up and fight.. who knows, they can even beat Austrilia.. if that being the case, again.. a terrific match between the two arch rivals.. to be honest, i dont want that too happen. i can see India losing to pakistan. am ready to lose the world cup but not one match to paki’s


hm March 13, 2015 at 2:27 AM

But I suggest you start preparing – atleast mentally, for the shock 🙂


mala March 11, 2015 at 9:40 PM

correction: I can’t see India losing to Paki’s


Shiv Kukreja March 12, 2015 at 12:35 AM

I think it would be South Africa vs. Australia in the finals and South Africa would make it this time.


Shiv Kukreja March 12, 2015 at 12:43 AM

Also, I think WI can beat New Zealand in the first QF on 21st March. NZ don’t have depth in their batting.


Manshu March 12, 2015 at 7:58 AM

I feel the rule change for the fielder restrictions make it so that any batsman having a good day in the final few overs can win a match for their team. From this point on the strong teams just need three performances in three games to win the World Cup, and anyone can do it. Maybe ICC should look at reverting that field change rule.


Shiv Kukreja March 12, 2015 at 3:42 PM

I agree, this changed rule and batting wickets make it a nightmare for the bowlers to bowl to a good batting side. While other teams need three good performances to win the World Cup now, India need only two. 🙂


harinee March 12, 2015 at 10:25 AM

Frankly think SA is over hyped, too much dependency on DeVilliers.So an upset by SL possible!
WI is beyond pathetic and I would rather see Ireland in QF who have put a valiant effort.


Shiv Kukreja March 12, 2015 at 11:17 AM

Hi Harinee,
I don’t think SA is over hyped and too much dependent on De Villiers. They have great batsmen like De Villiers, Amla, Du Plessis, De Cock, Rossouw, Miller and Duminy and great bowlers like Steyn and Morkel. Like India have been lucky to get past through all three teams – SA, Pak & WI, South Africa have been unlucky to get beaten by India & Pak. I think it has been good for SA for the knockouts that they got to know their weaknesses in these playoffs itself. Now, they will be better prepared for the knockouts.

In fact, I think NZ have been over hyped and overly dependent on McCullum and their home conditions. They can be easily beaten by teams like SA, Australia, WI, SL and India. There is no doubt that WI team take all their matches too casually, but they have better players than NZ. Ireland is putting efforts, but they need more time to reach to a maturity level to play against bigger teams. I think India is also over hyped, though I would be very happy to see India retaining this title. I think it would be Australia vs. South Africa in the final. 🙂


harinee March 12, 2015 at 5:22 PM

Winning WC is not necessarily skills/talent more about how motivated and driven you are and how you are led.
The biggest strength for India is Captaincy which is weakest for WI. SA also DeVilliers is no Graeme Smith.WI looks like a bunch of strangers assembled to play except Holder no one seems to play to win.
NZ looks rejuvenated under McCullum and I think that could be a turning point for them.


Manshu March 13, 2015 at 2:41 PM

Today the Blackcaps looked much over-hyped. I would have loved for them to lose the match, but updating this chart would have been a pain 🙂


harinee March 13, 2015 at 4:48 PM

They won it without McCullum scoring thats a big positive.


Shiv Kukreja March 13, 2015 at 6:40 PM

It would be great to watch NZ lifting World Cup, but I know they are not that great a team. NZ is a over-hyped team. WI vs. NZ would be a delightfully fun match to watch. I’ll not work that day for sure!


harineem March 13, 2015 at 8:26 PM

6/6 thats almost equal to a series win and you still think they are overhyped 🙂


Shiv Kukreja March 13, 2015 at 8:49 PM

Yes 🙂


harinee March 24, 2015 at 3:30 PM

Shiv the overhyped team just knocked your favourite out to the final 🙂


Shiv Kukreja March 24, 2015 at 3:36 PM

Yes, it has indeed. It was the match of the tournament !!!!! Truly amazing !!!!! I thoroughly enjoyed it !!! 🙂

Now, I think Australia has the best chance to win this World Cup. 🙂

Manshu March 24, 2015 at 4:26 PM

I was wondering if Harinee would rub it in 😀

Pradeep T March 24, 2015 at 4:41 PM

Excellent game of cricket.. in the end, the best team won..
The winner of the second semis ll win the Cup..
May the best team win !!

Pradeep T March 13, 2015 at 3:19 PM

Oh wow.. If India beats Pak,WI and SAF its luck and if SAF loses to India and Pak they are unlucky..Holy Mother !! Sad that ppl still say this after seeing such resounding wins by the Indians.
On a given day, performance on the field matters.. Not the strength on the paper.
SAF are a team who always struggled to play the chasing game.They cant chase even a moderate total like 270 odd if the opposition has more than one spinner. Their strength purely lies on batting first and making the opposition succumb to pressure of chasing. ABD is no MSD.
It will be really tough for them if SriLanka bats first and puts up 28o odd and make Herath play.


Shiv Kukreja March 13, 2015 at 5:22 PM

People have short memories. Let us wait & watch! 🙂


Shiv Kukreja March 18, 2015 at 2:57 PM

Sorry Pradeep, Sri Lanka is out. They could not score even half of 280 and SA did not struggle chasing it.


Pradeep T March 19, 2015 at 2:58 PM

Sadly yes .. A lame one-sided quarter finals.. SAF into semis.. 🙂
NZ vs SAF would be a cracker.


Shiv Kukreja March 19, 2015 at 3:12 PM

NZ first need to beat Windies which I think would not be a cakewalk. In fact, I have a view that Windies is a better team.


Pradeep T March 19, 2015 at 3:04 PM

No one is lucky to win over the other.
It was ABD’s mistake that cost them the game against Pak. Charging down the bowler when he had all the time in the world, that too on the 5th ball of the over[not sure 4th or 5th] where all he had to do was pick a single and get the strike next over. He had wasted all the effort he put in to set the platform.
Against India they were never in the game, they chased like as if they had to survive.. No game plan, no short-term targets.
Whereas, if India were in the same situation the plan would have been much more clearer, milk the bowling, take ones n twos, hit the odd boundary and go for the kill with Suresh n MS.


Shiv Kukreja March 19, 2015 at 3:15 PM

Lets see how India play in its next match!


Manshu March 19, 2015 at 4:56 PM

That was a pretty fantastic match, and great to see the way Rohit Sharma played. Will be no problem cleaning the Aussies off too.


Shiv Kukreja March 19, 2015 at 5:17 PM

My heart wants what you are saying, but my brain doesn’t support it. Moreover, it is not India vs. Bangladesh tomorrow, it’s Australia vs. Pak and there is a 25-30% probability of Pak winning it. So, let’s see which team we meet on 26th.


Manshu March 19, 2015 at 5:52 PM

25% is too high, more like a contrast between a penny stock and a blue chip.


Shiv Kukreja March 19, 2015 at 8:01 PM

1 in every 4 matches is possible yaar 🙂


PP March 12, 2015 at 10:53 AM

It’s good to talk about cricket for a change!

Going by the history, Pakistan is known for performing better in knock outs when their performance is round matches is pathetic. While it is the opposite for New Zealand (remember 1992 world cup, coincidentally played in Aus-NZ).

I think from QF onwards, it is anybody’s game who plays better that day! Let’s be ready for surprises. Being an Indian fan, any probability scenario wouldn’t change my belief of who’s going to win the trophy! 😉


Viv March 12, 2015 at 6:01 PM

This may be bit bizarre but comparing this WC with Football WC held in Brazil last year, it was Germany, non-south american nation that eventually won the cup. Going by the same logic, I am expecting huge surprise for both Aussie and Nz and there may be a possibility that both may be knocked out at the semi-finals.


harshit March 12, 2015 at 7:11 PM

Everybody is underestimating sri lanka…i bet south africa will loose to sri lanka. Semi final is india vs australia. And final is either with new zealand or sri lanka again..which india will loose..so sad


harineem March 12, 2015 at 9:16 PM

SL has not beat any serious opponent yet to be considered, England is very weak so doesn’t count.
SL should have brought in more youngsters its really disappointing to see so many guys who should have hung their boots still hanging on.This is going to hurt them for the WC and long term.


op sharma March 12, 2015 at 7:14 PM

As vs Ind SL vs nz final as vs sl


Pankaj gaur March 12, 2015 at 11:24 PM

I think from now this world cup for india needs two good knocks from kohli because he is simply a big match player in the world.i can bet for that he will prove himself again.india will retain this trophy.


Aamir khan March 12, 2015 at 11:25 PM

Hahahaha nice joke india in final its look like Aus vs Nz final


hm March 13, 2015 at 2:29 AM

It’ll be an India Vs Pakistan Semi Final and then Pakistan will go on to beat the chokers, only this time, it will be more convincing than the round match 😉


Pednekar March 13, 2015 at 3:11 AM

I think Australia vs New Zealand.
Because they are the host and have great support from the spectators.
Meanwhile there are 90 % chance for India also because they are playing like a champion.


Manshu March 13, 2015 at 7:47 AM

What is the least likely scenario in finals? Bangladesh v Pakistan?

Some bookies will be laughing their way to the bank if that happens.


Shiv Kukreja March 13, 2015 at 5:28 PM

No, least likely scenario is Bangladesh vs. West Indies. If UAE beat West Indies, WI is out !! 😉


Manshu March 13, 2015 at 9:41 PM

I forgot all about that. Can’t say I’ll be too disappointed if WI is beaten by UAE 🙂


athul March 13, 2015 at 7:35 PM

Never underestimate bangladesh dudes…


Shiv Kukreja March 13, 2015 at 11:21 PM

You mean Bangladesh winning World Cup this time, like India won in 1983 !!!!! 😉


rahul March 13, 2015 at 10:19 PM

india make history 3 time to win world cup


akky March 13, 2015 at 10:29 PM

last bt nt least 1semi aus vs sl
2nd ind vs nz final ind vs aus
India will win trophy ..confident abt this n if u have doubt then plz wait
time will show it 🙂


sameer March 14, 2015 at 2:14 AM

I see India vs new Zealand in finals


raja March 14, 2015 at 8:50 AM

Pakistan will loose to Ireland and go Home. Don’t dream to beat India!


raja March 14, 2015 at 8:53 AM

Pakistan will loose to Ireland and go Home. Don’t dream to beat India!
South Africa will lift the cup


sudhir March 14, 2015 at 4:21 PM

It’s going to be India vs Nz in the finals and no one else.


Rachit March 14, 2015 at 5:44 PM

gr8 work bro…now all my confusion is clear….btw i wud like to know ur source of this data, if u dont mind


Manshu March 14, 2015 at 6:04 PM

Sources are the two links within the post.


Rohit Manchanda March 15, 2015 at 1:50 AM

india will go through and make the finals,, along with New Zealand or South Africa..


Rahul March 15, 2015 at 5:14 PM

such an accurate prediction, hats off sir


Manshu March 16, 2015 at 11:27 AM

Let’s hope the rest of it true as well, and if it is then I will predict an India win too 😀


dhruv March 15, 2015 at 6:29 PM

1st quater final south africa vs sri lanka south africa win 2nd quater final is india vs bangladesh india win 3rd quater final australia vs pakistan australia win 4th quater final new zealand vs west indies new zealand win 1st semi final new zealand vs south africa south africa win 2nd semi final is india vs australia australia win final austrlia vs south africa south africa is winner to win the world cup in first time


Shiv Kukreja March 15, 2015 at 6:46 PM

I am with you Dhruv, except that I think WI is a better team than NZ. I’ll support NZ though. It will be a fun match whosoever beat the other team. 🙂


SUJITH March 15, 2015 at 6:35 PM

We won’t give it back!


Awais March 16, 2015 at 10:16 AM

Inshallah Pakistan will beat Australia in QF and India also if they meet Pakistan in Semi Final/Final..and mOst probably India will be Eliminated before Final..


Manshu March 16, 2015 at 11:28 AM

Good luck to Pakistan my friend, they have done a great job in turning things around and finding form. Hope they continue to play good, and let the better team on the day win 🙂


Shiv Kukreja March 19, 2015 at 11:25 AM

India is struggling against Bangladesh. Will it be the biggest upset of this World Cup? I hope not !!


Pradeep T March 19, 2015 at 2:56 PM

Which part of the batting is termed as struggle ? They never struggled.[Rahane was totally unsettled]
India played against Pak and SAF the same way.. Maintain the innings during the middle without losing much wickets and accelerate from the PP.
Probably, its because we are playing Bangladesh we have high expectations. There was no need for panic button anywhere when the batting was on .. 🙂
From the bowling front, we need to control runs now and capitalize on their attack since Bangladesh bat deep.


Shiv Kukreja March 19, 2015 at 3:10 PM

115 for 3 in 28 Overs (Run Rate of 4.11) at Melbourne, against a team like Bangladesh, I feel they were struggling. Yes, there was no panic, just because it was Bangladesh. It is just my view and you have all the right to disagree, most welcome! 🙂 It should be a smooth sailing to semis now!


Shiv Kukreja March 19, 2015 at 5:21 PM

Real World Cup starts now !!!!! But, we have only 5 matches left to be played in this world cup now. ICC should have made it more competitive now onwards, like IPL.


PP March 24, 2015 at 4:03 PM

History repeats itself… SA’s bad luck in semis continues..


Shiv Kukreja March 24, 2015 at 4:19 PM

Seriously, South Africa don’t have it in their destiny!


PP March 24, 2015 at 4:51 PM

..but a great team though.

It might have been a different story if it hadn’t rained and had SA batted the entire 50 overs.


Shiv Kukreja March 24, 2015 at 7:07 PM

Yes, I still think SA is the best team currently. They scored 65 runs in the last 5 overs after rain stopped play. They could have scored 360+ in 50 overs which would have made it more difficult for NZ to win.


harinee March 25, 2015 at 10:05 AM

Die Hard SA fan 🙂
I knew the moment AB messed the stumping NZ was going to win. It was a signal that SA was under pressure and it was NZ’s lucky day. SA certainly played great cricket but ultimately it comes to pressure and captaincy not the runs on the board.
To cite an example with a much lower score and not as great bowling as SA, Pak actually managed to put quite a bit of pressure on Australia at a point when they were 4 down. Yet with same 4 down and better bowling NZ never seemed under pressure.SA would never have chased this score, look at their performance throughout the tournament.
The same match Graeme Smith would have won so would have MS Dhoni.


Shiv Kukreja March 25, 2015 at 11:09 AM

Oh please, you are giving me similar reasons which people gave when BJP lost in the Delhi elections, in which I think BJP did nothing wrong. AB is a great personality and I don’t think Smith or Dhoni could have done anything different. It was the same Dhoni when India lost all its matches in the Tri-Series against England & Australia and it was Graeme Smith only who led them in the last World Cup. SA were under pressure bcoz they were desperate to win this match and the World Cup, as they also knew they deserved to win. It was anybody’s match yesterday. NZ won probably bcoz they were 71/0 in the first 5 overs, thanks to McCullum, they could hold on to their nerves throughout the match and most importantly, they were playing in NZ. It was NZ day afterall, nothing wrong done by AB I think, except that he opted Duminy to bowl in the 10th over.


harineem March 25, 2015 at 12:03 PM

Thats a strange comparison.
BJP was completely responsible for its defeat not because of their performance but certain decisions but thats another story.
I am not saying its DeVilliers fault or he isnt a great player or personality, just that great captains handle extreme pressure and can turn around situations and I don’t consider DeVilliers a great captain.
And when I say Graeme Smith or MSD I mean with the same team as DeVilliers had yesterday and same situation these guys would have won. Again that is also speculative and my opinion, no one has to agree 🙂


Shiv Kukreja March 25, 2015 at 12:14 PM

Yes, there is no end to our views and counter-views, so we should end all this. So, if somebody still thinks that England deserved to win this World Cup, it is his/her view. Nobody is bound by that view. 🙂


Awais March 26, 2015 at 4:56 PM

Hay! Congrats Indians.. 😉


Shiv Kukreja March 26, 2015 at 6:26 PM

Awais, bachchon ko parents ka mazaak nahin udaana chahiye !! We played far superior than Pakistan throughout this World Cup.


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