New Zealand faces India in the semi-finals. (PTI Photo)
The Indian cricket team will play the semi-finals of the ODI World Cup at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday. In this important match, Team India will face the same team which had broken India’s dream of becoming world champion four years ago in Manchester, England – New Zealand. This is the team which has been creating problems for India in ICC events. This same New Zealand had also shattered India’s dream of winning the first Test Championship. Once again this Kiwi team is in front of Team India in the ODI World Cup. India has shown its supremacy in this tournament so far and now the question is whether Team India, captained by Rohit Sharma, will continue the same trend in the semi-finals or will New Zealand in black clothes spoil the work?
No team could stand in front of India in this entire World Cup. From India’s bowling to batting, everything has been excellent. New Zealand also started this World Cup brilliantly and won four consecutive matches. It was India that stopped the winning chariot of the Kiwi team in Dharamshala. But the victory chariot of Team India did not stop. India has reached the semi-finals after winning nine consecutive matches.
pressure of big matches
Everyone would like Team India to end the drought of winning the World Cup since 2011 and the ICC Trophy since 2013 and the team is looking in full glory at the moment but if we look at the past, there is a fear too. It hurts. That is, India’s star batsmen are failing in the semi-final matches. Virat Kohli is the highest run-scorer in this tournament but his record in the semi-final matches of the ODI World Cup has been poor. Kohli has played in the semi-final matches of 2011, 2015 and 2019 and has been able to score only 11 runs in total. Rohit had played the semi-finals of 2015 and 2019 and in total he has been able to score 35 runs. KL Rahul had scored only one run in the 2019 semi-finals. The rest of the batsmen of the team – Shubhman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer are playing the semi-finals of the ODI World Cup for the first time. In such a situation, there will be pressure on the team players for this big match. Rohit has also accepted this in the press conference but he also said that he is not paying attention to this.
this is the new team
Rohit said in the same press conference that his focus is not on what happened earlier but on what he can do next and if seen, this team has followed the same path. Focus on the match to be played. Rohit himself has led the team from the front and has scored a lot of runs. He would like to set a similar example in the semi-finals and would like to shine with his bat in his home Mumbai, but the highest expectations will be from Virat Kohli, who is the highest run-scorer in this World Cup. In this World Cup, Kohli has scored 594 runs in nine matches with the help of two centuries and five half-centuries. If his bat fails, then New Zealand’s bowlers are in trouble. Shubman Gill is also in form and it will be a challenge for him to survive against Trent Boult in the initial overs against New Zealand. Team India would like Rohit and Gill to give a solid start to the team and then Virat Kohli should do his work.
Strong middle order
The middle order of Team India is also strong. In the 2019 World Cup, the team did not have any good number-4 batsman but this deficiency was filled by Shreyas Iyer. He has scored three half-centuries and one century in this tournament. He also has the ability to get the team out of difficult situations and score runs quickly when needed. After him is KL Rahul who scored a century in 62 balls against Netherlands. This is the fastest century from India in the ODI World Cup. After these two comes Suryakumar Yadav who can score runs fast.
Team India’s batting has been considered strong since the beginning, but the biggest reason for the team’s success in this World Cup has been its bowling. Being able to play Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj has been a first for the batsmen. These three will be expected to wreak havoc in the semi-finals also. The New Zealand team will also be preparing to deal with these three. If New Zealand’s batsmen are saved from these three, then the spin of Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja will trap them.
Rachin Ravindra and Bolt must be avoided
New Zealand is a team which can spoil India’s work. This team has that firepower. Young Rachin Ravindra, who is playing the ODI World Cup for the first time, has batted brilliantly. He is at third place in the list of batsmen who have scored the most runs in this tournament. He has scored 565 runs in nine matches. He played an inning of 75 runs against India in Dharamshala. He can prove to be the biggest threat to India. Whereas in bowling, Trent Boult can create problems for India. Bolt has troubled India many times and this time too he is a big threat for India.
We will have to pay attention to the rest also
However, Rohit knows that apart from Rachin and Boult, there are other players in the New Zealand team and Team India needs to be careful about them too. Tom Latham and captain Kane Williamson can create problems for India in batting. So in bowling, Mitchell Santner and Lockie Ferguson can become a headache.
Both the teams are as follows-
India: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Ravichandran Ashwin, Suryakumar Yadav, Prasidh Krishna .
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (captain), Devon Conway, Will Young, Tom Latham (wicketkeeper), Mark Chapman, Daryl Mitchell, James Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry .