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World Cup 2023: Semi-final 1 (India vs New Zealand) – Key Battles To Look Out For
By CricShots - Nov 14, 2023 7:06 pm
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The ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 is entering its final stages, with the semi-finals just around the corner. In the first semi-final clash on Wednesday at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, India will take on New Zealand. India has been the only unbeaten team in the tournament so far, but they face a tough test against New Zealand, who have a good record against them in ICC knockout matches.

India New Zealand
India vs New Zealand

The Men in Blue will be looking to avenge their heartbreaking defeat in the 2019 World Cup semi-final. New Zealand, on the other hand, has been the most consistent team of the last decade, reaching the finals of the last two editions of the ODI World Cup (2015 and 2019). They will be looking to make it three in a row and claim their first World Cup title.

Here are some of the key battles to look out for in the mega India vs New Zealand semi-final clash:

#1 Rohit Sharma vs Trent Boult

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma broke a lot of records

The battle between these two premier players will be crucial to the outcome of the match. If Rohit can continue his powerplay onslaught against New Zealand, it will make things easier for the other batters. But if Boult can dismiss Rohit early, it could derail India’s innings. Rohit has some weaknesses against left-arm pacers, and Boult is one of the best in the business. In the past, Boult has dismissed Rohit four times in 14 ODIs. Rohit’s strike rate against Boult is also a bit below par at 68.58.

#2 Virat Kohli vs Mitchell Santner

Mitchell Santner
Mitchell Santner

Another big match-up that could set the tone for the game. Kohli has struggled against left-arm spinners in recent times, and he was dismissed by Roelof van der Merwe in the match against the Netherlands. Kohli also relies heavily on strike rotation in the middle overs, and that’s where Santner comes in. The left-arm spinner needs to push Kohli back into his shell and put him under pressure. Kohli has been known to commit false shots in order to break the shackles in tournaments, and Santner will be hoping to exploit that.

#3 Rachin Ravindra vs Jasprit Bumrah

jasprit bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah

Ravindra has been one of the most promising young batters in the World Cup, and he is currently running toe-to-toe with Virat Kohli and Quinton de Kock in the race for the Golden Bat. However, the Kiwi batter will have to face Jasprit Bumrah’s new ball at his home ground, the Wankhede Stadium.

Bumrah knows the conditions very well and has been in tremendous form this World Cup. He has been instrumental in India’s success, and his ability to build pressure with the new ball has helped the other bowlers take advantage of it. Ravindra batted at number three in the league stage match against India, where he scored 75 runs. He batted cautiously at the start, but the pressure of the semi-final will be on a different level.

#4 Kane Williamson vs Mohammed Shami

Kane Williamson
Kane Williamson 

This battle could also decide the fate of the two teams. Williamson is the player who has often rescued New Zealand from tricky situations in big matches, and the Kiwi fans will once again be relying on their skipper to deliver against the hosts. However, the high-flying Shami will be a big obstacle in Williamson’s way. Shami has been the best bowler in the tournament so far, with 16 wickets in just five matches. He remained wicketless only in the last match against the Netherlands.

Shami will need to produce something special to get rid of Williamson early and make things easier for India. These are just some of the key battles to look out for in the India vs New Zealand semi-final clash. Both teams have world-class players in their ranks, and it is sure to be a thrilling encounter.