Cricket World Cup’22: Top five battles to watch out for

Meg Lanning (L) Sophie Devine (M) Heather Knight (R) © Getty Images

Cricket is one of the most iconic sports which has billions of fans around the world, who follow the sport with all their heart. From the rules of the game to the players that have played over the years, there are various facets that make cricket one of the most engrossing sports in the world.

But it is the rivalries between the countries and the mouth-watering clashes that they have produced thus far that draws innumerable eye-balls. While there are many rivalries that deserve to be talked about, there are a few that stand out more than the others.

New Zealand vs Australia – March 13

Australia have been the most domineering side in the history of ODI cricket. They have won 270 ODI matches out of the 342 games that they have played so far. Such a dominant record is testament to the fact that they have done well against all their opponents.

Both New Zealand and Australia have crossed swords with each other 132 times in one-day internationals. And the Aussies have dominated the contest thus far. In 132 games played till now, Australia have won 99, and the White Ferns have only tasted victory in 32 encounters. Two games have yielded no result.

The last series that they played against each other was back in April 2021 in a three-match ODI series, which was convincingly won by the Aussies 3-0. However, though the contest has been dominated by the Aussies one can expect the White Ferns to give them a tough fight since they are playing in their own backyard. 

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England vs India – March 16

The four-time ODI World Cup champions England have been one of the most successful sides in One-dayers. Apart from their riveting rivalry against Australia, which is the stuff of legends, they have been a part of other engaging contests too. And one of those contests is their rivalry against India.

Both teams have squared off against each other 72 times in ODI cricket, and the contest is pretty close. In 72 games, England have won 39 matches and India have registered victory in 31. Two matches have not produced any result. It was England that emerged as winners in the last ODI series with a 2-1 scoreline and hence when the defending champions will take the field against the runners-up of the 2017 edition it will be a game worth watching.

New Zealand vs England – March 20

One of the only three teams that have won an ODI World Cup, the White Ferns will be a part of another fascinating contest apart from the one against Australia. Their match against the defending champions England is one of the most anticipated clashes the ongoing World Cup has on offer. New Zealand have locked horns with England on 78 occasions in the history of one-day cricket. 

The hosts have secured victory in 36 of those matches, while England have won 40 games. One game has ended in no result, while one was a tied affair. England will not only have the psychological edge over the hosts because of their overall record but also because they defeated the White Ferns the last time they were engaged in an ODI series.

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South Africa vs West Indies – March 24

Both South Africa and the West Indies were up against each other recently. The Sune Luus’ side hosted the Windies for a four-match ODI series just before the World Cup. While the first game got washed out due to rain, the next one went right down to the wire, with Stafanie Taylor’s side bagging the win in the Super Over. But the next two ODIs turned out to be fairly one-sided in favour of the hosts as they clinched the series 2-1.

Hence the game on March 24 will present the team from the Caribbean with the opportunity to give one back to the Proteas. Both teams have squared off against each other 32 times in ODI cricket. The South Africans have won 16 matches and the Windies have won ten of the clashes. Three matches have produced no result and three have been tied affairs.

India vs South Africa – March 27

The Mithali Raj-led side are one of the prime contenders at the ongoing World Cup. Although whether they will make it to the semi-finals or not remains to be seen, one clash that fans will be able to see for sure is their match against South Africa. 

Both India and South Africa have been up against each other 27 times in one-day internationals. While India have won 15 matches, the Proteas have won 11. One match yielded no result.

The way the Proteas have played in the recent few years and in the manner in which they vanquished India (4-1) in the last ODI series in India makes the game on March 27 worth waiting for.