India vs New Zealand: The key battles between Men in Blues and BlackCaps that will raise the bar of the first semi-final in ICC World Cup 2019
India’s ICC World Cup 2019 semi-final against New Zealand at Old Trafford, Manchester today will see some battles which will turn out to be the defining moments in the context of the result of the match. With New Zealand having lost their last two matches and yet finding themselves in the semi-final, they know this will be an opportunity to redeem themselves and go for the biggest prize of them all.
On the other hand, India will be high on confidence after topping the table in the league stage and will look to continue the same processes which brought them to this position in the first place.
This game is completely a match made in heaven as the group clash between India and New Zealand was abandoned without a ball due to rain.
Several star players will look to have an influence in this semi-final match. India enters as the favourites.
Here are the hot battles to watch out for in an otherwise calm contest:
Rohit Sharma vs Trent Boult can set the tempo
Indian opener Rohit Sharma is batting as a man possessed. Everything he touches seems to turn to gold, and he will look to continue his good form in the semi-final.
The Master of Swing can trouble Rohit Sharma.
Boult will look to get the ball to swing in against Sharma and hope it opens up a gap with a chance of a dismissal, and with the batsman playing a predominantly leg-side game in this tournament so far, it will be interesting to see how he negotiates the threat of Boult.
Lockie Ferguson vs Virat Kohli promises to be exciting
If there is any player in the World Cup who is due a big knock, it’s Virat Kohli.
And historically, he has done well against New Zealand, and specifically, against Lockie Ferguson. He has a strike-rate of over 120 while facing him, and Ferguson has got him out only once. It is during the middle overs where Kohli will really look to take the Indian innings to the stratospheric heights he is capable of, and it will be incumbent on Ferguson to front up to the best ODI batsman in the world.
This battle finds inclusion in this list for potentially how one-sided it looks on paper, but how it could very easily also be the other way around on the day.
Jasprit Bumrah vs Kiwi openers will be enticing
No batsman has really challenged Bumrah in the World Cup so far, but if Guptill gets going against him, we could have one of the battles of the tournament on our hands.
Will Guptill get the upper hand or will Bumrah continue to rule the roost?
An intense battle on the cards at Old Trafford
The match is set to start at 3:00 PM IST. India goes into the match as the favourites. They will be aiming to keep New Zealand under the mat. India have momentum on their side and will look to reach their fourth final.