ICC CWC 2023: India looks to overcome knockout curse against familiar foes New Zealand

Public TV English
Public TV English
6 Min Read

┬áMUMBAI: It will be a clash of rivals as Team India will lock horns with New Zealand in the semifinals of the ICC Cricket World Cup at Mumbai’s iconic Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday.

Men in Blue ended their 20-year ICC tournament duck against New Zealand in the league stage, beating them by four wickets. But the occasion is much bigger this time. Men in Blue have a serious task on their sleeves to overcome the knockout match hurdle against their arch-nemesis that has troubled them in multiple must-win matches at ICC tournaments.

While the Kiwis will be looking to seal their third successive World Cup final spot after 2015 and 2019, Team India has a lot of scars to heal, both for their players and fans. The defeats to the Kiwis in the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup semifinals, 2021 ICC World Test Championship final and 2021 ICC T20 World Cup are still fresh in fan’s minds. An entry into a World Cup final in home conditions will make sure that these memories start to wane in intensity.

Men in Blue at this moment can do no wrong it seems. The opening pair of skipper Rohit Sharma (503 runs) and Shubman Gill (270 runs) has given explosive starts to India, setting the tone for the rest of the innings and letting the other batters take their time, settle and dominate. Virat Kohli (594 runs), Shreyas Iyer (421 runs) and wicketkeeper-batter KL Rahul (347 runs) are a trio of dangerous accumulators who are hard to get rid of once they settle.

Lower-order batter Suryakumar Yadav is the X-Factor with his fast-paced, 360-degree strokeplay despite an inconsistent ODI record. Not many have done what Suryakumar has done in T20Is as a number-one-ranked batter. All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja brings a lot of balance to the side because of his incredible capabilities with both bat and ball.

Jadeja is a different player while batting against the Kiwis. In 11 innings, Jadeja has scored 361 runs at an average of 51.57 and four half-centuries. His knocks of 77 in the 2019 semis and 39* in the league stage match against the Kiwis serve as a reminder of the impact Jadeja can make as a batter. Kiwis will have to get him out as the star all-rounder can single-handedly win matches for India.

The Indian bowling attack is also in the form of its life. Despite initially being billed as the second-best in the presence of Pakistan’s pace attack, the Indian pacers Jasprit Bumrah (17 wickets), Mohammed Shami (16 wickets) and Mohammed Siraj (12 wickets) have caused destruction like no other pace unit. Bumrah creates pressure on batters with the new ball that lets the entire bowling unit feast on their opponents.

Jadeja (16 wickets) and Kuldeep Yadav (14 wickets), the team’s top spinners, are just as lethal as the pace attack.

On the other side, Kiwis have a great line-up, though the impact made by them is not as good as India’s. Batting all-rounder Rachin Ravindra (565 runs) has been the find of the tournament. He is capable of anchoring the innings and smacking fours and sixes at will. Daryl Mitchell (418 runs) and Devon Conway (359 runs) have been pretty solid as well.

Skipper Kane Williamson’s (187 runs) presence and superb run in the three matches he has played, boosts the team’s batting. The Kiwi star is a game-changer and has perfected the art of turning tables slowly, but steadily.
Besides him, Glenn Phillips (244 runs) serves as a genuine threat with his power-hitting skills.

However, the biggest threat to India is pacer Trent Boult (13 wickets). Though Boult has had an inconsistent tournament, the sight of Boult running with a new ball in his hand is still a scary one. The presence of spinner Mitchell Santner (16 wickets) will also test Indian batters, as there have been instances of Men in Blue occasionally falling prey to spin choke. The presence of pacers Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson in itself is a threat for India, as they can make use of their height, pace and experience to trouble Indian batters.

India squad: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishan Kishan, Prasidh Krishna, Suryakumar Yadav.

New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (c), Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitch Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Will Young. (ANI)

Share This Article