Date & Time: Thursday, June 13, 15:00 IST
Venue: Trent Bridge, Nottingham, England
Who is going to draw first blood?
The two unbeaten teams of the World Cup face each other on Thursday at Trent Bridge in a tussle to continue the winning momentum. New Zealand has won 3 out of 3 games so far but they are yet to face a strong side like India, which will be a big challenge for them to overcome. India on the other hand, has won two out of two against quality oppositions and New Zealand won’t be any different for them. But, the big question is whether Rahul can step up to fill the big shoes of Dhawan or not. With overcast conditions today the Kiwis have a chance of exploiting the Indian top order.
New Zealand is unlikely to make any changes to the playing XI unless they consider Henry Nicholls at the top in place of the inconsistent Munro. India is likely to bring in Vijay Shankar in place of the injured Dhawan and they might also consider Mohammad Shami if conditions offer more help to pacers.
Trent Bridge ranks at the top of the charts in the world in terms of run-scoring since 2015. But having said that, it can go the other way around too as it happened in the contest between West Indies and Pakistan with overcast conditions. According to Google weather reports, the forecast on Thursday is quite gloomy, with a 90% chance of precipitation.
NZ’s most consistent batsman over the last couple of years is a must have player in the Dream11 fantasy cricket team for today’s match. His record against Indian bowlers in the last 5 encounters is way better than another kiwi batsmen. Bumrah is the only bowler against whom he struggled a bit to score freely.
The Indian captain is slowly getting into his grooves, which is certainly an ominous sign for the opposition. On Thursday it is important for the Kiwis to stop him as he becomes the most crucial batsman for India in the absence of Dhawan. He also has a good record against the Kiwi bowlers expect Boult, who dismissed him twice. It will be a fascinating contest to watch out for when Virat faces Boult.
The left arm pacer will be eager to replicate what he did in the warm-up game against India, where he removed the Indian top order quite easily. There is every chance he might repeat the same on Thursday if conditions remain overcast. It is to be noted that in the last few encounters, he has dismissed Dhoni, Virat, Rohit & Hardik twice each, and Rahul once.
The World’s best bowler of the format has had an impressive start to the tournament so far and he will be eager to continue the same against the Kiwis in today’s match. He has a good record against the Kiwi batsmen in the last few encounters where he got the better of almost every batsman at least once and they struggled to score at a good strike rate against him.
He may be one of the key top order batsmen for the Kiwis, but he has a very poor record against Indian bowlers in the last 10 innings. He struggled to score against the likes of Bumrah where he scored 23 runs off 35 balls and got out once. Against Bhunveshwar Kumar, he may have a good strike rate but he got out thrice to him. His record against Hardik Pandya is not good either, where he got out four times, only scoring a run a ball. So, considering these factors, we didn’t opt for him for either captain or vice-captain choice in any of our FD Grand league teams.
He may be a captain choice on any given day but not so against India. He struggled to score runs against almost all the Indian bowlers in the last 10 innings. He got out to Yuzvendra Chahal thrice and scored 66 off 88 balls. Against Kuldeep he may have a slightly better strike rate with scoring just under a run a ball, but he got out twice to him. While against the Indian pacers he has a strike rate of 25 & 42 against Bumrah & Bhuvneshwar with 40 balls faced and he got out once each to them. Even Kedar Jadhav has troubled him by dismissing him twice in the period.
The Kiwi opener has a poorer record against Indian bowlers, when compared to Guptill and Williamson. He has a strike rate of around 60 against Bumrah and Chahal and got out twice each to them. Shami, who may be considered if India opts for an extra pacer, has dismissed Munro thrice. Apart from this, his present form is not any good either. Except for a half-century against Sri Lanka, he hasn’t scored over 50 runs in the last 10 ODI innings. Hence, he does make it to only one of our grand league teams in today’s match.