The Complicated Path to World Cup Glory for Australia

Julian Miller
By:
Julian Miller
24/10/2023
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How can Australia still find success at the World Cup?

The Path to Victory for Australia at the cricket World Cup this year.  

News Insights

  • Australia needs lots of things to go its way to find success at the cricket World Cup
  • The cricket World Cup has experienced a lot of parity this year
  • Six wins in nine games should be the benchmark to advance
  • Afghanistan win over England helped Australias chances

As we close in on the halfway mark of the 2023 Cricket World Cup in India, a few things are becoming more clear. For starters, the race to the semi-final is starting to take shape. Each team plays nine matches throughout the 10-team round-robin, leaving Australia with a complex path to victory. 

As mentioned, each team in the 10-team round-robin plays nine matches. India, the host country, is the only team that hasn’t lost a match yet. Even more impressively, every team has notched at least one win, the first time that it has happened since the 1992 World Cup. 

In order to score a semi-final berth, six wins should do the trick. That said, it is statistically possible for a nation to make it with just a trio of wins. On top of that, a team could pick up seven wins and still find itself out before the knockout stage. Which means a bit of a complex path to the semi-final for Australia. 

Australia’s Path 

As it stands, there is just one win separating the fourth and tenth teams in the Cricket World Cup standings. Five nationals are equal on two points, separated by a net run rate of just 0.466. None of them have officially qualified, but it will be tough sledding for Afghanistan, Bangladesh, the Netherlands, or Sri Lanka to make it to the knockout stage. 

Australia, meanwhile, has a bit clearer of a look. They got off to a terrible start, but with the shocking victory by Afghanistan over England, things have been illuminated. Australia is assumed to beat Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and the Netherlands, which would leave the five-time champions with key matches against England and New Zealand. Should they lose both, their chances of qualifying are basically gone. Winning one, however, should be enough to keep them in contention for the semi-final.

Aim to Win 

Though four of five matches would almost guarantee a trip to the semi-final, Australia should be aiming to win all five. They need to keep their net run rate over Pakistan. Because of that, Australia should be putting a focus on picking up heavy wins over the Netherlands, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh, which would boost their odds by a substantial number. 

Even losing to the Black Caps, Australia should still qualify. The only exception would be if Pakistan beats South Africa, New Zealand, and England, but that seems highly unlikely. Everything depends on what happens throughout the other group-stage matches. If there are other major knockouts, it could make the semi-final race even more complicated.

A Look at the Field 

Host country India looks all but secure for the semi-final despite tough matches against England and South Africa looming. Even if they lose both, they’d still likely finish in the top four. South Africa has the highest net run rate while New Zealand needs to beat Pakistan to safely land in the top four. 

Pakistan, meanwhile, needs a lot to happen in order to qualify. England, the reigning champs, are in big trouble, needing to win every game left. If Australia can defeat their rivals, it would do potentially critical damage to their semi-final hopes.

There is still a lot of time left for things to change at the 2023 Cricket World Cup. Australia has a pretty clear path to the semi-finals but needs to take care of business in its own matches to make it all happen. Ousting England would just be the cherry on top.