As we approach the business end of the World Cup, where do the 10 teams stand?
Following the model of the 1992 World Cup, each team will clash against all other teams once in the group stage, which is known as the the round robin. The top four teams will then qualify for the two semi-finals, the winners of which will play each other in the final on July 14.
There were several predictions made before the World Cup began and as we stand almost halfway through the tournament, most of them have proved to be true. At the moment, Australia, New Zealand, England and India are the top four teams and are gradually distancing themselves from the bottom four. In all likelihood, these will be the four teams that will qualify for the semi-finals, not in any particular order.
If you asked anyone, even Justin Langer, one year prior to the World Cup, they might not have considered Australia in the reckoning for the trophy. But after the 3-2 series win against India and the 5-0 clean sweep against Pakistan in UAE, Australia have been on a roll and are real contenders to defend the title.
With five wins from six matches, they are at the top of the points table with 10 points. The team lost their only game against India early on but are looking in good rhythm now. They have Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis and Nathan Coulter-Nile to make up the overs of their fourth and fifth bowler, which is their weak link.
It was always expected that due to their relatively easy fixtures to begin with against Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan that New Zealand would get off to a good start, but that they will not drop a single match after five games was hardly expected.
Courtesy of this, New Zealand stand at the second place in the points table with four wins from five games. The Black Caps have nine points and are expected to make it to the semis.
It came as a bit of a surprise after England lost their game against Pakistan. Probably, they were at the wrong end of Pakistan's unpredictability and should shrug off that defeat as one-off.
Morgan & Co are with four wins from five matches and have eight points. With their 150-run win over Afghanistan, they have cemented their tag of firm favorites.
India suffered a couple of blips in the form of their series loss to Australia and a huge loss against New Zealand in their first warm-up game but ever since the tournament has started, everything has clicked for them.
Team India have only played four games till now but courtesy of three wins, they are at the fourth place with seven points. With a couple of easy fixtures to follow, they are only expected to climb further and, along with England, are the favourites to win the title.
The likes of Australia, England and India were expected to do well but one team that has played out of their skin and surprised many in this World Cup is Bangladesh. They have scored in excess of 300 in three matches, against South Africa, West Indies and Australia.
Although it would be very tough for the Tigers to displace one of the top four, they have been very consistent in the tournament and are likely to finish at number five.
Sri Lanka might turn around and say that they have been hard done by two rained-off games but, to be frank, they were fortunate to get those two points courtesy of the abandoned matches, because of which they currently stand at sixth place.
The Lions were going great guns in their 300+ run-chase against Australia but lost their way due to a middle order collapse, which has been more less the story for them in every match. They are expected to finish at the second last place, just above Afghanistan.
West Indies ignited hope among their supporters by the manner in which they begin their World Cup campaign, as their bowlers blew away Pakistan for a little over 100. However, as the tournament has moved forward that match feels more and more of a misnomer.
West Indies have been very fickle in their approach and find themselves at the seventh place, with only one win from five games.
This might only sound familiar but this World Cup, just like many others in the past, has turned out to be a disaster for South Africa. Since their 100+ run defeat against England in the tournament opener, they have not been able to come back to their feet again and have made far too many mistakes.
They lost their following game against Bangladesh as well, which they would have backed themselves to gain two points from, and their campaign nosedived after that defeat. In their last match against New Zealand, they made several mistakes once again and are likely to finish at the sixth spot.
Pakistan have proudly worn the badge of being mercurial for a long time but it is this unpredictability that is is hurting them. After a loss against West Indies, the team bounced back bravely against England and looked like a rejuvenated unit but losses against Australia and India have made it very difficult for them to qualify to the semis. They are likely to finish at the seventh place.
Many were of the opinion that Afghanistan would at least win two-three matches in this World Cup but the team has let down their newly cultivated fanbase with five losses from as many matches.
They are currently placed at the bottom of the points table and not much is expected to change for them in the following four matches.
© Cricket World