Date & Time: Wednesday, June 19, 15:00 IST
Venue: Edgbaston, Birmingham, England
A repeat or a revenge of 2015 World Cup Semi Final?
The last time these 2 sides met in a 50 over World Cup, we witness one of the most memorable matches ever in World Cup history. With the current edition of World Cup struggling to produce such close contest so far, let us hope that this match will be the start of many more to come. New Zealand are well placed in the points table with 3 wins and 1 NR from 4 games and are well rested after not having played for the past 10 days. South Africa however are in a dire situation and will be almost out of the race from the top 4 spot if they end up 2nd today.
Lungi Ngidi is back from injury and this will be a huge boost for South Africa. He will replace the left arm pacer Beuran Hendricks. New Zealand have not made any changes to their side so far in this World Cup and are expected to retain the same team today also.
Edgbaston, Birmingham is all set to host its first match in this edition of the World Cup. Going by recent records, the pitch is expected to be flat and can assist spinners later in the day.
Since 2015 World Cup, Ross Taylor’s stunning batting average of 68.85 is the second best ODI average with Virat Kohli ahead of him. His last 2 scores in World Cup are 82 and 48 and has been scoring with above 100 strike rate throughout the innings which helps his batting partner also tremendously.
Faf du Plessis
He had a tough time in the last couple of weeks on and off the field while leading South Africa. There are a lot of things to ponder for him as a captain and as an experienced batsman of the side. It is no different, in fact, it is a must-win situation against New Zealand. The onus is on him to come up with a match winning knock.
He may be a captain choice on any given day but especially against South Africa as he has scored his career best ODI score of 145* against them. He has good record against most of the South African bowlers and has scored more number of runs at this venue than any of his current teammates (163 runs in 3 innings with a century)
We all know Imran Tahir is a class act and he is coming into this game after picking up a 4 wicket haul against Afghanistan in his last game. But can he make a massive difference in a side whose middle order has the likes of Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor and Tom Latham, who are all excellent players of slow bowling? It is a very tough call, but we don’t think he will pick more than 1 wicket today.