World Cup 2019: Can the battle of the 'Fab Four' light up the semi-finals?
Armageddon is a term that depicts the final battle at the world’s end time between supernatural forces and this term is a fitting one to describe the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup as the ultimate clash between the teams of four modern-day greats is set to take place.
The 'Fab Four', comprising of India's Virat Kohli, England's Joe Root, Australia's Steve Smith, and New Zealand's Kane Williamson, all of who started their career around the same time have broken innumerable historical records and stamped their names in international cricket.
The four batsmen are the ones who also safeguard the reputation of international cricket by focusing more on the longer formats, in the era of T20 and T10 cricket where the original version of the game has slowly lost its fame in the age of change.
Orthodox cricket shots with precise timing and brilliant foot movement makes their batting look beautiful and through an exhibition of classy cricket, they create unbelievable records and capture the attention of the millions during this dominant period of franchise cricket.
The semi-finals will be very interesting, mainly because of the battle between these four modern-day greats as their teams England, India, Australia, and New Zealand have qualified into the knockout stages. Playing the role of anchors for their side, they will be well prepared for the task in hand.
Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson, as captains will have a lot of additional responsibilities. Kohli represents India, a country of a billion people and will give his best to bring about the third World Cup title for the nation while Williamson will try hard to get New Zealand their maiden World Cup title.
The Blackcaps have lost against England and Australia in the group stages which makes the knockouts slightly nightmarish for them. However, they will try every trick on their sleeve under the leadership of Williamson to tackle the impenetrable challenges in their way.
Joe Root fights for the honor of England while Steve Smith, on the other hand, has come back from a ban and will be keen to silence his critics with a defining knock.
More importantly, England have never won the coveted trophy, one of the biggest surprises with respect to England's journey from the early days of cricket. Although the home team houses many big hitters, their chances depend on the class batsman Joe Root, who will be banked to hold his nerves and provide stability in the batting order.
Coming to Steve Smith, the batsman had a topsy-turvy period before the World Cup. The sandpaper controversy put him in a poor state of affairs. Now, with a realistic chance to make his way to a memorable knock that can lead Australia to a sixth title, all eyes will be on Steve Smith.
Thus, the final stages of this World Cup have turned epic as the greatest batsmen of this era will battle it out with heavy motivations. Something of this magnitude may never happen again in modern day cricket. Certainly, a fitting climax awaits the ‘Fab Four’ narrative.
Also see – India vs New Zealand head to head stats