Indian team is all set to face Kane Williamson’s New Zealand in the first semi-final of the 2019 World Cup on 9 July. Team India will be riding high on confidence after finishing on the top of the points table. New Zealand, on the other hand, finished at fourth with 11 points, courtesy of a superior net run rate.
Old Trafford, Manchester is going to host this crucial match. India previously played two of their group matches at the same venue. They defeated both Pakistan and West Indies quite comprehensively. The knock out match will be played on a fresh pitch. Manchester has been a high scoring venue as England scored tournament’s highest total (397) here against Afghanistan.
After remaining unbeaten during their first six matches, New Zealand lost its last three league matches. Lack of runs from their openers has been a huge cause of concern for them. Team’s fortunes in the batting department have been highly dependent on their skipper, Kane Williamson’s performances.
India will be entering this contest as favorites, considering their recent form. Their top order comprising Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli is arguably the most formidable one at the moment. Rohit Sharma has been in stupendous batting form and KL Rahul has been playing the role of second fiddle to perfection. Even though he has not scored a century in the tournament, Virat Kohli has been scoring crucial runs for the team during mid-phase of the innings. Rishabh Pant has shown some promise in the matches he played until now. Team management will be expecting a special innings from Pant in the upcoming match.
Coming to changes in XI, Shami and Chahal, who sat out the last league game, in all likelihood will make a come back into the playing XI. Kuldeep Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar might make way for the aforementioned players. Kedar Jadhav might also come back into the side if India wants a part-time bowling option. But Dinesh Karthik’s superior finishing prowess might help him retain his place in the XI.
India’s ideal Playing XI
Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli ©, Rishabh Pant, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Jasprit Bumrah.
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