The Indian team's alternative strategy in the absence of an injured Shikhar Dhawan will be put through a stern test by a feisty New Zealand attack ready to ask a few probing questions if the weather does not play spoilsport in their World Cup encounter on June 13.
The contest will have a quality Black Caps seam attack ready to make life difficult for a new opening pair that is likely to feature KL Rahul at the top alongside Rohit Sharma. Dhawan has been ruled out of at least the next three games owing to a hairline fracture in his left thumb.
New Zealand have a good record against India at global events. Kane Williamson's men would be more than determined to win four-on-trot and maintain their pole position. Dhawan has unintentionally forced Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri to go for a tactical rejig despite convincing performances in the first two games against South Africa and Australia.
Being forced to tinker with a successful opening combination that has cumulatively scored 4681 runs is a bit unsettling but there is also a positive side to the Dhawan injury saga. It has provided India with an opportunity to test how good their Plan B is.
Rahul's probable elevation at the top will certainly bring Vijay Shankar and Dinesh Karthik into the picture as far as the No.4 slot is concerned. Shankar's all-round abilities are pitted against Karthik's experience.
This is the 18th match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. The match will take place at Trent Bridge in Nottingham. The match will start at 3 PM IST today. It will be broadcast live on StarSports network. Online viewers can logon to Hotstar for all the live action.
India: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (C), Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (C), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (WK), Jimmy Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson and Trent Boult.
Batsmen: KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (C), MS Dhoni, Kane Williamson (C), Ross Taylor
All-rounders: Kedar Jadhav, Colin de Grandhomme,
Bowlers: Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah , Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult