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India vs New Zealand World Cup 2019 | Key Battles That Might Decide the Fate of the Game

Cricketnext Staff |July 9, 2019, 11:09 AM IST
India vs New Zealand World Cup 2019 | Key Battles That Might Decide the Fate of the Game

India’s ICC World Cup 2019 semi-final against New Zealand at Old Trafford, Manchester on Tuesday will see some battles which will turn out to be the defining moments in the context of the result of the match. With New Zealand having lost their last two matches and yet finding themselves in the semi-final, they know this will be an opportunity to redeem themselves and go for the biggest prize of them all.

On the other hand, India will be high on confidence after topping the table in the league stage and will look to continue the same processes which brought them to this position in the first place. Here’s a look at five key battles that will have a huge say in which way the match swings.

Rohit Sharma vs Trent Boult:


With 647 runs in eight matches in this World Cup, Indian opener Rohit Sharma is batting as a man possessed. Everything he touches seems to turn to gold, and he will look to continue his good form in the semi-final. But he will be in the direct firing line of New Zealand pace ace Trent Boult, who has 15 wickets to his name so far.

Boult will look to get the ball to swing in against Sharma and hope it opens up a gap with a chance of a dismissal, and with the batsman playing a predominantly leg-side game in this tournament so far, it will be interesting to see how he negotiates the threat of Boult.

Jasprit Bumrah vs Kane Williamson:


Kane Williamson and Jasprit Bumrah are both masters of their respective crafts, with Williamson being among the best batsmen in the world currently and Bumrah officially being the best bowler in the world, rankings-wise. Williamson is known to be technically very solid, and he will need every bit of it when he goes up against Bumrah, who can make the ball pitch just about wherever he wants to with metronomic efficiency.

No batsman has really challenged Bumrah in the World Cup so far, but if Williamson gets going against him, we could have one of the battles of the tournament on our hands. Will Williamson get the upper hand or will Bumrah continue to rule the roost?

Yuzvendra Chahal vs Ross Taylor:


Yuzvendra Chahal’s guile in the middle overs, be it to stem the flow of runs or take a wicket, depending on the match situation, will be really important for Indian captain Kohli. He could be up against arguably of the best players of spin bowling in Ross Taylor. With 261 runs to his name in seven innings so far in the World Cup, Taylor is due a big knock. It won’t be a surprise to see him trying to take on Chahal and put pressure on him, but it might just work out in a way for Chahal – The more risk batsmen take against him, the higher his returns in the wicket column have been, having taken 11 wickets in 7 matches so far in the tournament.

Virat Kohli vs Lockie Ferguson:


If there is any player in the World Cup who is due a big knock, it’s Virat Kohli. And historically, he has done well against New Zealand, and specifically, against Lockie Ferguson. He has a strike-rate of over 120 while facing him, and Ferguson has got him out only once. It is during the middle overs where Kohli will really look to take the Indian innings to the stratospheric heights he is capable of, and it will be incumbent on Ferguson to front up to the best ODI batsman in the world. This battle finds inclusion in this list for potentially how one-sided it looks on paper, but how it could very easily also be the other way around on the day.

MS Dhoni vs Mitchell Santner:


This is a battle that has its genesis in countless Chennai Super Kings net sessions. When India’s designated “finisher” squares up against Santner towards the death overs, expect it to be a game of cat and mouse. Add to it Dhoni’s increased cautious approach in the initial part of his innings that has now become the way he approaches things, it will be interesting to see if Dhoni will be able to take on Santner when the time comes to accelerate the Indian innings. The wily Santner would know the machinations of the ex-Indian captain inside out, which makes it a fascinating battle to observe in the high-pressure environment of a semi-final.

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Cricket World Cup Points Table

9 7 1 1 15 +0.80
9 7 2 0 14 +0.86
9 6 3 0 12 +1.15
9 5 3 1 11 +0.17
9 5 3 1 11 -0.43
9 3 4 2 8 -0.91
9 3 5 1 7 -0.03
9 3 5 1 7 -0.41
9 2 6 1 5 -0.22
9 0 9 0 0 -1.32

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6420 123
2 India 6807 122
3 New Zealand 4763 113
4 Australia 5470 112
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
see more