In the first semi-final of the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup, the table-toppers India will be locking horns with New Zealand. The match is predicted to be one of the most entertaining games of the tournament that will be played at Old Trafford. The league match between the two teams was washed out without giving each other a chance to go head to head.
While India boasts of two of the world’s best batsmen in Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, the Kiwis also comprise of Kane Williamson in their ranks as they look forward to another finals appearance by defeating Team India. The last team these two teams locked horns with each other in the World Cup was in 2003 when India beat them quite comfortably by seven wickets.
With a place in the final at stake, here are some of the predictions for the game:
After a rather comfortable win over Sri Lanka, India might opt to replace Bhuvneshwar Kumar with Mohammed Shami. Ravindra Jadeja’s record in England conditions is quite impressive, which is a good headache to have for the Indian think-tank. Yuzvendra Chahal should also replace Kuldeep if they were to go in with the same combination.
Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul have been in the form of their life in this World Cup and will be expected to continue in the same vein of form on Tuesday as well. The middle order of Rishabh Pant, MS Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik will be expected to be tested in the semi-final.
Probable XI: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli(C), Rishabh Pant, MS Dhoni(WK), Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav/Yuzvendra Chahal, and Jasprit Bumrah.
Although they started the tournament on a high, New Zealand has tailed off, with Henry Nicholls, Martin Guptill and Mitchell Santner going through a rough patch. Kane Williamson has been the shining light in an otherwise out-of-form Kiwi batting unit. Unfortunately for Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor has not been able to consistently come up with the runs. Tom Latham’s fifty in the last game should give him some confidence while there is a school of thought that suggests he open the inning while accommodating Tom Blundell in the middle order.
Tim Southee should make way for Lockie Ferguson, who has easily been their best bowler this World Cup. All eyes will be on Trent Boult, with the left-arm pacer already wreaking havoc in the warm-up game prior to the start of the World Cup.
Probable XI: Colin Munro/Tom Blundell, Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson (C), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham(WK), James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi/Matt Henry, Trent Boult, and Lockie Ferguson.
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Fantasy XI Predictions
MS Dhoni, Martin Guptill, KL Rahul, Kane Williamson, Virat Kohli, James Neesham, Hardik Pandya, Trent Boult, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Yuzvendra Chahal.