Date & Time: Tuesday, July 09, 15:00 IST
Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester, England
India start as overwhelming favorites
It’s time for semifinals in the ICC World Cup 2019, as India takes on New Zealand at Manchester on a cloudy day. India has topped the table in the league phase and lost only one game to England, otherwise they were dominant in most games. On the other side, New Zealand’s campaign can be divided into two half halves as they were dominant in the first half and sluggish later. But now, for both the teams the past results don’t count, since the winner takes it all to book a place in the final.
India is likely to bring in Mohammad Shami and Yuzvendra Chahal into the playing XI, but it is unclear whether India will go in with two spinners or three pacers combination. On the other hand, Lockie Ferguson is likely to replace Tim Southee for New Zealand.
Old Trafford has been a high scoring venue in the tournament where the average score of the team that bats first in the World Cup is around 320. Teams batting first have won all the games so far in the tournament, but on Tuesday, on a fresh surface with the cloud cover on offer the teams’ performances may go the other way around.
Right now he’s in the midst of a purple patch of his career in the World Cup. He is the only batsman to score five centuries in a single edition of the World Cup and he doesn’t seem to stop. There are potentially still two matches to be played in the tournament. He also has a great record at the venue where he scored 140 against Pakistan in the league phase. There is every chance he will come up with the 6th century of the tournament, if he can see off the opening spell from Boult, against whom he has struggled in the past. He has scored 28 runs in the 55 balls faced and got out twice to him.
He is the lone warrior for the Kiwis this World Cup with the bat, where he has scored 30.3% of the total team runs. Against India, once again he will be crucial for the struggling Kiwi batting lineup. He may not have had a good record against India in recent times, but playing at Old Trafford where he scored 148 against West Indies in the league phase will hold him in good stead. We expect nothing short of another vital knock from him in this crucial encounter.
He is the leading wicket-taker for the side in the tournament with 17 wickets from 8 matches. But Bumrah bowled better than what the numbers actually say. He is the go to man for Virat whenever a wicket is needed or when it’s necessary to stop the flow of runs. Only Mujeeb who predominantly bowls in the first half of the innings has better economy rate than Bumrah in the tournament with at least 40 overs bowled.
He has not been at his best so far in the tournament, in which he has sailed through without scoring a century in the 8 matches. It’s time for Virat to come up with a match-defining innings which he is known for. His record against the Kiwis might come to his aid where he has scored 440 runs in the last 9 matches played. But he has to be cautious against Boult early in the innings as conditions are expected to be overcast throughout the day. Virat has scored 37 runs in 47 balls faced against Boult and has been dismissed twice.
Lockie may be leading the charts for the side but Boult has come to his own best in the last few matches in the tournament. He picked 11 wickets in the last 4 games and he is once again going to be crucial bowling to the Indian Batsmen who are known to struggle early in the innings against swing. He has got the better of Virat, Rohit, Dhoni and Pandya twice each in the last 5 encounters. He also had a great outing at this venue where he bagged a four wicket haul against the West Indies in the league phase.