The much-anticipated semi-final clash between India and New Zealand is set to take place today at the iconic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. The match is expected to draw a massive crowd, including a host of celebrities from various fields. Superstar Rajinikanth, a renowned name in Indian cinema, flew to Mumbai from Chennai to witness the cricketing extravaganza.
Speaking to reporters before his departure, Rajinikanth expressed his enthusiasm for the match. Former England football captain David Beckham is also among the notable figures expected to grace the occasion. Beckham, a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, is currently in India to promote child rights and gender equality.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) and UNICEF have partnered to empower women and girls, promoting inclusion and gender equality through cricket. Other prominent personalities expected to cheer on their favorite teams from the VVIP lounge include actors Salman Khan and Aamir Khan, along with Indian cricketer Hardik Pandya.
Pandya, who was initially part of the Indian squad for the ongoing World Cup, suffered an ankle injury during the match against Bangladesh and was ruled out of the tournament. India will be aiming to defeat New Zealand, a familiar foe, in Mumbai and become the first team to secure a spot in the final of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.
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Rohit Sharma’s India currently stands as the highest-ranked team in the ICC World Cup points table, having secured nine wins from their nine matches. However, the Indian team management will exercise caution, as they were also the highest-ranked side in the 2019 tournament when they lost to the Kiwis by 18 runs in the semi-finals.
The current Indian team has been the standout performer of the tournament, demonstrating balance across all departments. The Indian pace trio of Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohammed Siraj has been the envy of all teams, while the spinners – Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja – have effectively neutralized the opposition in the middle overs with a combination of defensive and attacking bowling.
The stage is set for a thrilling semi-final encounter between India and New Zealand, with both teams determined to advance to the final. The presence of celebrities and dignitaries adds an extra layer of excitement to the already electrifying atmosphere. All eyes will be on the Wankhede Stadium as India and New Zealand battle it out for a place in the coveted final.