India & New Zealand Aim To Extend Their Unbeaten Record

ICC Men’s World Cup 2019

Unbeaten in the ICC Men’s World Cup 2019 so far both India and New Zealand, will look to maintain ascendancy as they take on each other at Trent Bridge, Nottingham
 on Thursday, 13 June, 2019.

Team India riding on a brilliant ton by their opener Shikhar Dhawan put up a clinical performance against Australia, in their 36-run win in their last league encounter. But Dhawan’s thumb injury, courtesy Australian pacer Pat Cummins has given them a major jolt ahead of their next few matches. Stand by opener KL Rahul, who had been slotted to bat at no.4 up until now, will hope to fill the void in the company Rohit Sharma. He will face a tough challenge first up against a potent New Zealand pace attack.

While wrist-spinners  of the likes Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav have provided breakthroughs at crucial junctures in both their leagues games so far, the first being against South Africa, it will be interesting to see if skipper Virat Kohli goes in with the same combination on Thursday. Short boundaries and overcast conditions at the venue being the key concerns against New Zealand power hitters of the likes of Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Ross Taylor. Kohli in fact would aim his team settle scores against the Kiwis, post their first warm up game loss last month after left arm pacer Trent Boult destroyed the famed Indian batting line up with his swing and subtle  variations.

New Zealand are currently leading the points table with three wins from as many games all registered against Asian countries Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.  With Lockie Ferguson and Matt Henry leading the bowling charts with 15 wickets between them in the tournament so far, and with James Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme providing able support, along with India’s nemesis Boult (22 wickets in the last four years) skipper Kane Williamson has enough bowling options. He will hope to do an encore against the men in blue coming at the backdrop of his recent experiences in the Indian Premier League over the years. With their top-order doing bulk of the scoring in the first three matches, the middle order is likely to be tested against a well-rounded Indian bowling unit.

Key Players

India: Pacer Jasprit Bumrah  who currently tops the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Rankings for bowlers, has been giving his best results in the World Cup so far, providing timely breakthroughs. With his subtle variations and the ability to extract movement and bounce, Bumrah will be a tough challenge for New Zealand batsmen on Thursday.  Skipper Virat Kohli and his assistant Rohit Sharma have played important innings in the tournament. While Rohit who scored  a match winning unbeaten 122 against South Africa followed it up with another equally good performance against Australia with 57 runs, in the process became the fastest Indian to go past 2000-run mark against Australia in ODIs. Virat on his part didn’t fire against South Africa and was dismissed for 18, came back with a crucial 82 against current champions Australia.

New Zealand: Skipper Kane Williamson is one of the best batsmen of the modern era, Williamson’s ability to score runs in any conditions makes him New Zealand’s most reliable player. With his smart play and the ability to counter spin-bowling, the Kiwi skipper will look to hold the innings together against India. Ross Taylor on the other hand has been the backbone of his team with knocks of 82 against Bangladesh and 48 against Afghanistan in World Cup 2019.

Conditions

With heavy and thundery showers predicted later in the day, there is a slim chances to get a full 100-over game, With bowlers from either team capable of exploiting overcast conditions, much like West Indies did against Pakistan here, both captains will look to field first.

Squads

India: Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, MS Dhoni (WK), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik, Vijay Shankar, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (C), Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Colin Munro,  Tom Latham,  (WK), James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme,, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Henry Nicholls, Tom Blundell,

 

Interesting Facts

* Head-to-head record in the World Cup: India-3, New Zealand -4

* Last Meeting in World Cup: India beat hosts New Zealand on 14 March, 2003 by seven wickets

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