The 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup is now well underway as followers watch the usual suspects pull clear of the chasing pack. The competition began in earnest on Thursday, 5th October, in India and has already given sports fans plenty to discuss. In the opening three weeks of play, we've enjoyed majestic bowling, fearless batting, and more than our fair share of upset results. What's more, the World Cup is only getting warmed up, and there's plenty more drama in the pipeline as we race towards the final on Sunday, 19th November.
What has been your favorite moment from the 2023 World Cup so far? You may be a fan of the host nation, India, who is also the early pace-setter and favorite to win the trophy for a third time. Will India delight their supporters by using home advantage to become three-time world champions? Fans making predictions on the results at the top gambling apps, including firms offeringonline sports betting in Massachusetts, find India as the most likely winner.
Traders have a home win at the top of the outright betting list, and that's been true since before the opening ceremony. If anything, India's start to the tournament has made them even stronger favorites in the eyes of backers. They have exploded out of the traps, winning their opening five games to set the standard for the other nations to chase. India has a perfect 5-0 record but has yet to hit their top speed. There's plenty more to come from this ambitious group that seems determined to go all the way.
Perfect start for the hosts
India entered this World Cup as the host nation, gambling favorites and two-time winners of the trophy. Fans dreamt of seeing their side complete a famous treble, and doing it on home soil would be the icing on the cake. World Cup 2023 could be a celebration of all things good about sports and cricket in India, providing a timely boost for both cricket and the people in general. To say the team and coaching staff have pressure on their shoulders would be an understatement.
The best sportspeople shine brightest under pressure, and that's what we've seen from India in their opening five games in this competition. They have won each of their fixtures, sprinting to the top of the league, and are the only remaining team without a defeat on their record. Following a hard-fought win over New Zealand on matchday five,India progressed to ten points, at least two clear of the chasing pack. South Africa and New Zealand are the main danger on eight points, with Australia collecting six.
Despite suffering a setback in their preparations with the cancelation of a World Cup warm-up against the Netherlands, India got down to business when the important games began. They got off the mark at the World Cup with an opening game victory over Australia by six wickets, which set the ball rolling. It was a difficult first game, but India got the job done and looked confident in all departments against a talented Aussie side who have a lot to prove at this level.
Locals build momentum
Game two paired India with Afghanistan, an opponent they beat by eight wickets while showing their class. Next was a seven-wicket win and, arguably, their best performance when downing Pakistan in an explosive contest. The visitors came to spoil the party and steal the headlines from their neighbors while boosting their chances of becoming champions again. Pakistan is a strong team but wasn't able to prove it as India shut them down early, the scoreboard reading 192-3 against 191 all out.
Since beating Pakistan, the home team has grown in confidence and strength. They progressed to defeat Bangladesh by seven wickets in their fourth outing and used that victory to propel them to another against New Zealand in game five. India beat a talented New Zealand team with room to spare, and the performance was more convincing than the margin of victory. The scoreboard proved it, reading India 274-6 against the 273-all out of their rivals.
Five straight wins for India has fans excited and conjures up memories of the nation's previous success at the World Cup. They first won the trophy in 1983 when England were the hosts and pundits' pick to prevail. India started as outsiders, having never won the title, but they got off the mark with a famous victory over the West Indies in the final.
The champions finished second behind the West Indies after six Group B games. Their 16-point total was four shy of the group winners, but it was enough to help them progress to the next round. India played England at Old Trafford in the semi-final and won against all the odds. The scorecard read England 213 vs India 217-4. That win secured their place in the final.
The deciding match saw India face the Windies at Lords on 25th June, and after eliminating the host nation, India held high hopes. But they had already lost in the group stages to the West Indies, leading many sportsbooks to support the Group B winners. India rose to the occasion despite most experts predicting a Windies victory. The final score in London read India 183 vs West Indies 140, securing the team's place in history.
World Cup 2011
It took almost three decades for India to secure their second World Cup, but they did it in 2011 at the competition they jointly hosted with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
India again finished second in their group, ending behind South Africa to progress to the knockout stages. They beat Australia in the quarter-finals before ending the run of Pakistan in the semi-finals, setting up a decider against Sri Lanka in Mumbai.
The ICC Cricket World Cup final in 2011 is remembered for India's battling win over Sri Lanka, with the result showing India 277/4 against Sri Lanka 274/6.