IND Vs NZ: Which team will get the first defeat?Image Credit source: PTI/AFP
After a long wait of 1564 days, India and New Zealand will again face each other on the World Cup stage. After a two-day match in Manchester four years ago, both the teams will once again meet at the Dharamshala ground in similar conditions. No Indian fan will be able to forget that match in Manchester, where Team India, which was heading towards the title, knew its fate within 40 minutes. Then a direct hit ended the remaining hopes of Team India. It would not be right to say that Team India will take revenge of that defeat but the aim will definitely be to end the series of failures in the World Cup against New Zealand.
This clash between India and New Zealand at the HPSA Stadium in Dharamshala will have shadows of many previous matches, but this match is more special than all these for another reason. In this match, India and New Zealand will enter as the most in-form teams of the World Cup 2023. Two teams, which have won all their four matches and are at first and second position in the points table. This means that the journey of victory of one team in this match will definitely end.
Could the weather spoil the game again?
By the way, it is also possible that both the teams may progress without losing here too. Yes, if the weather does something wrong then both the teams can move ahead from Dharamshala without playing and only by sharing the points. The last match in Dharamsala was between South Africa and Netherlands, which could not start on time due to rain. Then a match of 43-43 overs was played. According to the forecast of the Meteorological Department on Sunday also, it is expected to rain around 2 o’clock in the day and the action starts from 2 o’clock itself.
By the way, in the 2019 World Cup also, the league round match between the two teams was canceled due to rain. Still, the hope is that the match will be completed without any problem from beginning to end. Now let’s talk about the competition on the field. The rhythm and pace that Team India has gained since the Asia Cup is still continuing, in fact, under the captaincy of Rohit Sharma, the team looks more dangerous and balanced than before. This is the reason why Team India defeated Australia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh without any problem.
Tension in front of Team India
Trouble arose for Team India before this important match because star all-rounder and vice-captain Hardik Pandya has been ruled out of this match due to the injury suffered in the previous match. Therefore now the challenge is to select the right players to replace them. The team has options in the form of Suryakumar Yadav, Mohammed Shami and Ravichandran Ashwin but as coach Rahul Dravid admitted, the team balance will not be the same as before.
However, Team India’s worries have increased even more because Suryakumar Yadav got hit hard by the ball on his wrist during the practice session, due to which he had to leave the session. Now will he be fit for this match, this is a new headache in itself. However, with the good form of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Shubman Gill and KL Rahul, Team India is looking strong.
Face off with Manchester’s poachers
This match is also challenging for Team India because the conditions in Dharamshala have always been helpful to fast bowlers and everyone in Manchester had seen how Trent Boult and Matt Henry destroyed Team India within 40 minutes on the basis of their swing. Had done it. These two bowlers will once again be in front of Team India and there will be similar challenging conditions again. This means that somewhere the memories of Manchester will remain in the minds of the team and fans.
This will not be the only tension for India from New Zealand’s side. He has an express pace bowler in the form of Lockie Ferguson, who has again returned to form in the World Cup. Apart from all this, a big threat is left-arm spin-all-rounder Mitchell Santner, who leads the way with 11 wickets. Santner is also doing the same work for New Zealand as Ravindra Jadeja is doing for Team India. Apart from controlling the runs in the middle overs, he is also taking wickets.
What is the condition of Kiwi batsmen?
Lastly, it is also important to talk about the batting of the Kiwi team, which is looking strong. Devon Conway, Will Young and Rachin Ravindra do not have the experience of Rohit-Kohli but all three batsmen look fearless and are batting destructively. With the return of Daryl Mitchell and Glenn Phillips to form in the middle order, the team is looking better here too. Captain Tom Latham does the rest. However, the pace of Team India’s bowling attack is not going to make the path of Kiwi batting easy. This means that the competition will be tough for both the teams on many fronts.