It will be a clash of two unbeaten sides in the World Cup on Thursday (June 13) — India with two wins on board and New Zealand with three — when the two sides face off at Trent Bridge in Nottingham. Many believe that six wins should be enough for teams to secure a berth in the semifinals this year and the Black Caps are half-way to the mark but the tougher encounters for them are coming up.
India hold the edge over the Kiwis in recent ODIs with six wins in the last eight, dating back to October 2017. The most recent was a 4-1 series win for Virat Kohli’s side in New Zealand earlier this year.
But Kiwis had the upper-hand when they managed to bundle out India for 179 in a warm-up game at the Oval with Trent Boult scalping 4/33. Paceman Lockie Ferguson summed up his side’s successful beginning after he and allrounder Jimmy Neesham shared nine Afghanistan wickets in their last game. Ferguson leads the wicket-taking charts with eight scalps at an average of 12.37 and economy rate of 3.88.
Ferguson, just 30 matches into his ODI career, has experience of the Indian Premier League with Kolkata Knight Riders and can't wait to fire against India.
“They (India) are playing some great cricket. Across their team they've got a lot of depth and some exceptional players,” Ferguson was quoted as saying by Sky TV.
“Tournament cricket is an interesting one… there's a lot of pressure on India to beat us and beat every side. We had a good start in the warmup game, that doesn't always mean a huge amount but we'll take that confidence and hopefully the opening bowlers can get it swinging a bit and it makes my job a little bit easier,” the Kiwi speedster said.
Ferguson will be a certainty to play, but overhead and pitch conditions in Nottingham will be closely watched for other selections. If it looks likely to swing Tim Southee could come in for his first game for Matt Henry; if it's dry and could turn then leg-spinner Ish Sodhi enters the frame at a ground he knows well for England’s T20 champions Nottinghamshire in 2017.
“There’s one short boundary which isn't always the easiest but it makes for an entertaining game. The two games I've seen there, there's been a lot of bounce and a lot of pace. That always helps me. West Indies bowled really nicely on it with some pretty aggressive stuff,” Ferguson said.