India have not faced New Zealand in this World Cup so far. The Kiwis beat India badly in the warm-up match before the World Cup. Team Kane Williamson can take confidence from that match today. But they will have to put their 100 percent to defeat India, one of the biggest favorites of this World Cup.
Among the four semi-finalists, New Zealand have faced most criticism. The net run rate allows Kiwis to play in the semifinals, despite losing three consecutive matches. But if the powerful pace bowling department of last year`s runners-up can click at the right time, defeating India will not be impossible for the ‘Black Caps’.
In today`s match, Rohit will try to hook Lockie Ferguson`s bouncer, K. L. Rahul will have to face Trent Boult and Kohli will try to tame Matt Henry.
A staggering fight between Mahendra Singh Dhoni and left-handed orthodox bowler Mitchell Santner can be witnessed today. But Dhoni will be somewhat in better position since he got the opportunity to monitor his Chennai Super Kings teammate Santner closely.
Meanwhile, no middle-order batsman, except Hardik Pandya, has done anything exceptional till now. Despite Dhoni`s 290 runs at almost 90 strike rate, India`s middle order still remains a place of concern.
Today the probability of rain is strong. The probability of having a 50-over match is very less. Trent Boult can be a bliss for the Kiwis in cloudy weather. This fast bowler can destroy India`s strong batting order. Besides, Lockie Ferguson, who has been receiving regular wickets in the World Cup, may be a big threat for India.
On the other hand, top order will be Kiwis main concern. No one, except captain Williamson (481 runs), in the top five, could do well. New Zealand`s opening pair in every match returned to the pavilion before the end of the powerplay. Besides, Bumrah-Bhuvneshwar`s swing in new ball can tease the Kiwis today.
However, New Zealand`s main strength is their middle order. Williamson, Taylor and James Neesham are in great form. New Zealand`s fight against India may be equal if they can tackle India`s pace bowlers.
Indian squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shikhar Dhawan, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Yadav, Dinesh Karthik, Kuldeep Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Sami, Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Vijay Shankar
New Zealand squad: Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (captain), Ross Taylor, Ish Sodhi, James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Tim Southee, Tom Blundell.
Bangla Insider/ SM