India vs New Zealand: To start off with the weather has been a villain this World Cup & as per the forecast for the match day, there is a 50% chance of rains at Nottingham. Very little can be done about how the rain gods want to operate, but we’d like them to not go berserk. The men in blue take on the Kiwis in the 18th match of the World Cup 2019. Both teams have been unbeaten so far & if the skies are clear we are in for an absolute whopper. The Kiwis after 3 games are at the top of the pile with 6 points & an NRR of 2.163. The men in blue, on the other hand, have been in scintillating form. They pinned South Africa comfortably & took down their biggest nemesis with the utmost of ease.
THE STORY SO FAR…
New Zealand have beaten the likes of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh & Afghanistan in their first three games. Perhaps, 2 of the easiest draws but they’ve been extremely tight & disciplined as far as their bowling is concerned. 3 of their pacers have done the majority of the damage. Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry & Jimmy Neesham have collectively picked 24 of the 30 wickets New Zealand have managed to pick. Their batsman didn’t have to do much but their big match winners, Ross Taylor & Kane Williamson have looked in decent touch. The men in black outclassed the Indian lads in the warm-up game & they’ll use that experience to their advantage. An Indian victory or a Kiwi domination or a heavy downpour. What’s it going to be?
Shikhar Dhawan has been ruled out of the 3rd & 4th ODIs after the southpaw was hit on his thumb in the match against Australia. Dhawan has always been India’s main man in the ICC tournament. Without him, the team certainly doesn’t look out of sorts but his run-making assurance will be missed. KL Rahul is likely to open with Rohit Sharma but who will bat at number 4? Vijay Shankar or Dinesh Karthik? Can the middle order be an asset walking into a crucial fixture? Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya & Mahendra Singh Dhoni all looked in fine touch but can the Indian legion see the Kiwi challenge through?
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When: 13th July 2019, Thursday
Where: Trent Bridge, Nottingham
Kick-Off Time: 3:00 PM IST
In the quadrennial event, the teams have met 7 times, with New Zealand winning 4 times & India 3. However, in the last 10 ODIs, the men in blue have won 7 & the Kiwis have managed only 3. In England, New Zealand lead the H2H record by 3 games to 0.
Shikhar Dhawan has been ruled out for the next two ODIs. KL Rahul is likely to open the innings with Rohit Sharma & Vijay Shankar’s all-round abilities will prove to be handy. The conditions have been overcast for the last 2-3 days. Will India add the 4th seamer to their arsenal? Mohammad Shami in place of Kuldeep Yadav? That might be a possibility considering the conditions & also the smaller boundaries.
The Kiwis wouldn’t want to tweak their combination & are expected to field the same eleven.
EXPECTED PLAYING XI FOR INDIA vs NEW ZEALAND
Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Vijay Shankar/Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah
Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult
FANTASY CRICKET TIPS FOR INDIA vs NEW ZEALAND
Tip 1: With clouds hovering over Trent Bridge & with conditions expected to remain unchanged, picking a heavy pace attack will be a fine option. Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Matt Henry & Lockie Ferguson should make it to the eleven. The Nottingham wicket has proven to be a batting paradise, but when conditions go overcast, it has been a tough wicket to bat on. A testament to this was the 1st ODI here between West Indies & Pakistan. The Windies used the turf to a nicety & bounced the Pakistan batsmen out for a paltry 105.
Tip 2: If the sun peeks out, things change drastically. The bowling wonderland turns into one of the most placid tracks in the world. As many as 8 400+ scores have been scored at this venue since 2016. Since the 2015 World Cup, the run-rate at Trent Bridge is 6.75. England broke the world record twice at this very venue. Scoring 444 against Pakistan & 481 versus Australia. Choosing a batting heavy line-up then will seem fitting.
Tom Latham has been quiet so far, but the classy left-hander can prove to be a thorn in team India’s flesh. Latham averages 58.30 against India & has scored them at a strike-rate of 90.52. The wicket-keeper batsman hasn’t done much with the bat this WC but behind the stumps, he’s been safe as houses. He’s managed 8 dismissals in 3 games & with his batting prowess, he’ll be a player to watch out for.
Hardik Pandya’s strike-rate in England is a colossal 160.30. Pandya scores a boundary every 4.85 deliveries in English conditions. Against Australia, he was sent up the order to up the ante & an attacking 48 off 27 makes him a game-changing option.
Kuldeep Yadav registered his ODI career-best figures here at Trent Bridge, Nottingham. His 6/25 are the best ODI bowling figures at this venue. The Chinaman went wicketless in the last game against Australia but he’s upped his game a notch. He’s got more revolutions on the ball & he’s varying the pace impressively. Yadav is an outright wicket-taker & having him in the side will only fetch you more points. At least, we hope.
Tim Southee has dismissed Virat Kohli 5 times in ODIs. He’s bowled 188 deliveries at the World’s greatest batsman & has had the better of him more often than not. Will Southee make it to the New Zealand XI?
Virat Kohli is only 57 runs short of 11,000 ODI runs. If Virat gets there against New Zealand he’ll be the fastest to the landmark. In 222 innings. The next best, Sachin Tendulkar, in 276 innings.
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