India are all set to lock their horns with New Zealand in the first semi-final of the ongoing ICC World Cup. Will New Zealand reach their second consecutive World Cup final?
Well, the possibility of that is quite low as the current side of Kiwis are not at their best. While India are currently the most balanced and in-form side. Moreover, New Zealand lost their last three group stage matches to Australia, Pakistan, and England. India, on the other hand, lost just one match to England and ended as the group leaders.
The two sides have faced each other eight times in the World Cup history. The Kiwis have got better of their rivals in four encounters while the Men in blue emerged winners in three fixtures. The remaining fixture that was supposed to be played in the ongoing World Cup was washed out due to rain.
India (Probable XI): Lokesh Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (C), Rishabh Pant, MS Dhoni (WK), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah.
New Zealand (Probable XI): Colin Munro, Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Colin de Grandhomme, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult.
Rohit Sharma vs Trent Boult
The battle between the Indian Hitman and the Kiwis swinger. Who will dominate the other? You never know as both can change the game for their side.
Rohit Sharma reached his fifth century of this World Cup in the last game against Sri Lanka and broke the record of Kumar Sangakkara of most centuries in a single World Cup. This also made Rohit the second Indian to score more than 600 runs in a single World Cup.
The Indian opener has been a key in batting for his side. Also, there is a lot at stake here as this match will decide the first finalist of this World Cup. So, his dismissal will be a huge turn around in this encounter.
However, it all depends on how the New Zealand bowler bowls, especially, Trent Boult. The Kiwis pacer has been second-highest wicket-taker for his side in the ongoing tournament. Also, Boult is a left-arm bowler, which makes him a big threat for Rohit.
There will be a lot of pressure on both the players but if Rohit succeeds in playing off Boult early in the game. Then the chances of India winning this fixture will increase drastically.
Jasprit Bumrah vs Kane Williamson
One of the most reliable cricketers in the modern cricket, Kane Williamson, will take on one of the most lethal bowlers currently, Jasprit Bumrah.
The Indian pacer is the third-highest wicket-taker with 17 wickets from eight matches in the ongoing World Cup. While the Kiwis skipper has scored 481 runs in eight group games, which is the reason why Kane is the sixth highest run-scorer of this World Cup.
The Kiwis batsman has also scored two centuries and one half-century in the ongoing competition. This makes Kane a big threat for India and the Men in Blue have to remove the batsman early in the match. Otherwise, if he continues to play then Kiwis chances of winning will increase.
Bumrah has a lot of pressure on his shoulders as the Men in Blue will expect their key bowler help his side in removing a big barrier between them and the spot in the final.
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The squads of the two sides will be decided according to the weather conditions, today. If it stays overcast then both the sides might play three pacers each and if it’s sunny, then we might see two spinners from each side.
The New Zealand openers have failed miserably in the ongoing World Cup. This is a big issue with the Kiwis. They have brilliant bowling attack, but their batsmen are failing to put up a score on the board.
India, on the other hand, have got great opening starts and their bowlers have also done a brilliant job in winning small score games.
So, considering everything. Cricwizz believes that India will emerge as the ultimate winner in this match as they are in a better form in comparison to the Kiwis.
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