Team India have already qualified for the ICC Men’s ODI Cricket World Cup semi-ifinals. Now, they will take on New Zealand at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on 15 November. The hosts have had a decent run at the Wankhede Stadium. Undoubtedly, the Indian squad feels to continue in the same vein of form.
The problem, however, is regarding their opponents, New Zealand, often seen as India’s bogey side in ICC tournaments. The Kiwis are back on track after their skipper Kane Williamson’s return from injury. Williamson, who knows Indian conditions very well, will give the home team a tough fight. The presence of Rachin Ravindra, Devon Conway, and Tom Latham in the batting order is worth mentioning.
Given the latter’s strength, New Zealand’s bowlers are not expected to trouble India much. Middle-order batsman Shreyas Iyer, who has been through a rough time, scored a century against the Netherlands on Sunday. India’s bowlers, perhaps the best in the tournament, will go up against the famed Kiwi lineup.
India will look forward to continuing the same momentum to win and qualify for the final, which will take place in Ahmedabad on Sunday. Having won the World Cup the last time it was held in the subcontinent in 2011, India will have no one but themselves to blame if they let it slip away this time around.
Probable Playing XIs
India: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah.
New Zealand: Devon Conway, Rachin Ravindra, Kane Williamson (c), Daryl Mitchell, Tom Latham (wk), Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman, Mitchell Santner, Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson.
Virat Kohli: Virat Kohli will be spurred on to do well against the Kiwis, especially since the memories of the defeat in the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup will linger fresh in his mind. Kohli, who has had a stellar World Cup so far, knows that the business end of the tournament only starts from here. If he does not perform here and take India to the title, his doing well in the league stage will be unimportant.
Kane Williamson: Skipper Kane Williamson, ruled out for the majority of the World Cup, first with a knee injury and later with a thumb injury, is back and has announced himself. He will be geared up to do well against India, which he helped knock out of the 2019 World Cup. Williamson, who will feel that Fate was against him in the final when Ben Stokes managed to run away with the trophy for England, will want to make amends in possibly his last World Cup.
Although both teams are well-matched, India are the overwhelming favourites to win this game. India’s depth in all three departments is astounding and something the Kiwis can only hope to emulate. India’s bowlers, who have struck partnerships throughout this tournament, will also want to keep their tails up on Wednesday. India has a significant edge over their opponents, but one can never take New Zealand lightly. Expect India to win.