Host Nation Firing at Cricket World Cup

It has been a year of division, conflict, and political unrest across the world as tensions remain on high alert. From the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia to the horrors of daily life in Israel and Palestine, we’re living in dangerous and uncertain times. But you can always rely on sports to bring people together and attempt to create harmony. And that’s what we’re seeing in India at the moment with the ICC Cricket World Cup.

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The action is well underway, with the best teams driving to the front, leaving the hopefuls and stragglers struggling to make ground on the pace-setters. India is the host nation, and they began the tournament as the favorites with leading sportsbooks to make home advantage count and lift the trophy. The best online sportsbook reviews show India has been popular with bettors, and bookies offer generous promotions and great odds.

Will they live up to the hype and win the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 before their adoring fans? That’s unclear, but the locals are headed in the right direction, building their challenge of strong foundations. India already has some morale-boosting performances and wins under their belt, but there’s plenty more to come from this team. They are approaching top speed, and when they hit their form, there could be no stopping them.

World Cup info

The Cricket World Cup began on Thursday, 5th October, and will finish on Sunday, 19th November. A champion arrives following a professional cricket marathon, and regardless of which team wins the title: India, South Africa, Australia, or another contender, sports fans are the real winners. There are still plenty of games to play, and the title is up for grabs. 

India may be the pundit’s pick, but there are other nations with claims on the World Cup. If you’ve been following the games, you’ll be up-to-speed on the best-performing teams and the most dangerous of dark horses. If you have yet to watch but are now intrigued, we’ll quickly fill you in on what you’ve missed this month, helping set the scene for an action-packed November.

The 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup is a One Day International format with a competition of ten teams and 48 games. It begins in a round-robin format as the participants battle to escape the groups and make it through to the knockout stages. That’s when things start to get serious. In the groups, a mistake and loss isn’t the end of the journey, but in the knockout stages, one slip or poor performance could send a team home.

What we have now is a collection of the world’s best players and most famous cricket-playing nations performing before huge crowds. They are under the microscope, and as games become more important, the pressures rise. The winner of the World Cup may not be the most talented players but the most consistent team, the group that holds its nerve the best. Will that team be India?

Group campaign

India began the World Cup with the pressure of expectation on their shoulders, but they started in strong form. The hosts exploded out of the traps, winning their first five games of the tournament and racing to the head of the table. The locals were the only team yet to taste defeat after five group games, with nearest rivals South Africa and New Zealand each losing one of their opening five challenges.

Despite bagging five wins and being the only unbeaten team, it’s obvious there’s more to come from the league leaders. Their Run Rate is 1.353, and they have ten points on the board. When compared to some other teams nipping away at their heels and vying for dominance, India’s Run Rate is the third best in the competition, placing them behind current highest scorers South Africa on 2.37 and New Zealand’s 1.481.

Despite seeing a vital World Cup warm-up match with the Netherlands abandoned less than a week before the start of play, India enjoyed a winning opener. They rallied to beat Australia in their opening game, winning by six wickets in a thriller that swung back and forth. The scoreboard at the end of the play read India 201-4 against the Aussies 199 all out.

Hosts build momentum

India beat Afghanistan on matchday two just three days later, and the margin of victory was more comfortable as the hosts won by eight wickets. That fixture produced a result of 273-2 for the victors against the 272-8 of their guests. It was already clear India was rising to the occasion, and the fans allowed themselves to dream of global domination.

Next up in game three was Pakistan, and that was a game that captured the imagination of sports fans worldwide. Expectations were high before the coin toss, and credit must go to both teams as they put on a show. It was another competitive contest India won through hard work and grinding a result. They escaped with a seven-wicket win thanks to a 192-3 win over Pakistan’s 191 all out.

If any remaining doubters or critics remained, India’s win over neighbors Pakistan proved the hosts are serious about delivering their fans the championship. It was the catalyst for victories over Bangladesh by seven wickets and New Zealand by four wickets. The latter was the most important result of the competition, overshadowing the win against Pakistan.

How to watch the World Cup

You can watch the most important fixtures from the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 on major television broadcasters, with the games beamed live to millions worldwide. 

If you won’t be at home during game time, you can watch India and the other contenders on your smartphone through a live-streaming app. Research the best live streams and download them to your handset. Look for a high-quality legal stream with expert commentary, live scores, predictions, and stats. Watching on your smartphone means you’ll never miss your favorite team in action. Follow the play from anywhere using your mobile.

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