Welcome to a thrilling chapter in cricket history as India and New Zealand prepare to lock horns in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023's first semifinal. It's a battle of the Titans – India, unbeaten and riding the wave of a meticulously crafted success story, faces New Zealand, the epitome of resilience and tactical genius.
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Match Preview: India vs New Zealand, ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 1st Semi-Final
ICC World Cup • 15 Nov, 2023 • 5,787 Views • ⭐ 4.5
Written by Anand Swami
The stage is set for a showdown filled with strategic depth, where every move counts. With stars like India's Suryakumar Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah, and New Zealand's Rachin Ravindra and Glenn Phillips, the game is not just about runs and wickets; it's about cricketing glory written in every delivery.
The Wankhede Stadium offers a pitch that is uniquely accommodating to a wide spectrum of bowling styles, favouring both pace and spin bowlers at different stages of the game. Initially, the conditions are particularly favourable for swing bowlers, giving them an advantage in the early phases. As the game progresses, the pitch gradually becomes more conducive to spin, providing a balanced challenge for the teams.
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On the batting front, those who exhibit patience and adept shot-making can accumulate significant runs on this surface. This dynamic nature of the Wankhede pitch suggests that teams winning the toss might lean towards fielding first, aiming to make the most of the conditions that favour bowlers at the start of the game.
Form Guide: India
Recent Performance: WWWWW
India's journey in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 has been exemplary, marked by strategic planning and comprehensive team building. Post-2019, the team broadened its pool, evaluating as many as 50 different players over four years and 66 matches. This meticulous process culminated in a core group of 24 players, carefully chosen six months before the World Cup, focusing on honing their skills for the big stage.
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Suryakumar Yadav's emergence as a reliable player in ODI cricket is a testament to this strategy. Off the field, the team's success is equally remarkable. Intensive training and medical support enabled key players like Jasprit Bumrah, KL Rahul, and Shreyas Iyer to recover from injuries and return to their peak form.
The leadership duo of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli has emphasized a culture of sustained excellence. The team has exhibited freedom in batting, discipline in bowling, and a profound trust in their methods. This holistic approach has translated into their unbeaten run in the tournament, making their performance feel historic regardless of the outcome.
Form Guide: New Zealand
Recent Performance: WLLLL
New Zealand's path in the tournament showcases its ability to adapt and overcome challenges. A key example is Rachin Ravindra's exceptional run-scoring in the top order, which led to adjustments in the team's batting lineup. Similarly, Glenn Phillips has evolved into a versatile player, almost an all-rounder, significantly increasing his bowling duties during the World Cup.
Despite facing injuries and close matches, including a narrow loss to Australia and a high-scoring game against Pakistan, the team has maintained its resilience. Their strength lies in their calm approach to high-pressure situations, a skill they have mastered over time, as evidenced in their performance in crucial games like the one on July 14, 2019.
New Zealand's strategy often involves a cautious start, focusing on staying in the game and waiting for opportunities to capitalize on their opponent's mistakes. This approach has made them particularly effective in tight contests, allowing them to emerge victorious in high-stakes scenarios.
Both India and New Zealand bring unique strengths to the World Cup. India's journey is characterized by strategic planning and a focus on individual talent, while New Zealand's resilience and adaptability in high-pressure situations make them formidable opponents. The upcoming semifinal promises to be a clash of these contrasting yet equally effective approaches.
Players to Watch
Jasprit Bumrah: India's Key to Unbeatable Form
Jasprit Bumrah's role in the Indian cricket team is crucial. His absence was keenly felt during India's underwhelming performance at last year's T20 World Cup. However, his return has been a game-changer, instrumental in India's victory against the very team that defeated them in Australia, overcoming a significant batting failure. Bumrah's bowling, particularly in the initial overs, is exemplary. He has delivered an astonishing 175 dot balls out of 228 in the first ten overs of matches, which accounts for nearly 80% of his deliveries.
His impact isn't just limited to the start; Bumrah's ability to take crucial middle-over wickets is a key strategy for India. This tactic forces new batsmen to face the challenging task of scoring quickly against him, especially during the death overs where he excels with his slower balls and deadly yorkers.
Trent Boult: New Zealand's Trump Card Under Lights
For New Zealand, Trent Boult could be the decisive factor, especially in conditions favouring bowling under lights. In Mumbai, where the ball tends to move significantly after sunset, Boult's skill in securing early wickets could be vital in destabilizing even the most robust batting line-ups. Despite not always having favourable conditions during this World Cup, Boult is known for his ability to exploit any opportunity to attack the stumps and pads of top-order batsmen like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer.
Even in less ideal conditions, such as bowling in the daytime heat, Boult's motivation is fuelled by a strong desire to settle scores, driven by a sense of unfinished business in the tournament. These key players, Jasprit Bumrah for India and Trent Boult for New Zealand possess unique skills that could be pivotal in determining the outcome of their teams' performances in high-stakes matches, making them the ones to watch in this tournament.
India, heading into the semi-final, is expected to maintain its existing team composition. The team management has shown a preference for stability, opting to field the same XI that has been in play since their crucial fifth league game against New Zealand, held in Dharamsala. This consistency in the line-up indicates a strategy built on continuity and cohesion, which has served the team well throughout the tournament.
For New Zealand, there are no anticipated changes in their squad for the semi-final. Key fast bowler Lockie Ferguson, who has been managing an Achilles injury, is reported to be ready for the upcoming game, as stated by coach Gary Stead to Sky Sport NZ. This availability is crucial for the Black Caps' bowling strategy. Additionally, captain Kane Williamson has confirmed the fitness and availability of all players in the New Zealand squad. This all-clear on the health front provides New Zealand with the flexibility to choose their best possible line-up for this critical match.
Pitch and Weather Report
At Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium, batting conditions have been favourable, especially in the first innings and again after the initial 20 overs of the chase. This characteristic of the pitch provides an engaging experience for batsmen. However, it's notable that fast bowlers have typically found success in the period between these two phases, often disrupting the flow of the batting side.
The weather forecast for the semi-final day in Mumbai is very promising for a full day of cricket. It predicts bright and sunny conditions with no expectation of rain showers, indicating that the match should go ahead as scheduled without any weather disruptions. In the unlikely event of adverse weather, a reserve day has been allocated to ensure the completion of the semi-final.
As for the temperature, it is expected to be quite warm at the venue, reaching around 33 degrees Celsius. The humidity level is forecasted to be around 35%, which is relatively moderate for Mumbai. Additionally, there will be a gentle breeze at the stadium, with wind speeds estimated to be about 10 kmph, potentially impacting the game's dynamics, especially in the bowling department.
India (Probable): Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma (capt), Virat Kohli, KL Rahul (wk), Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj
New Zealand (Probable): Rachin Ravindra, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson (capt), Tom Latham (wk), Daryl Mitchell, Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult
The first semifinal of the ICC World Cup 2023, featuring India and New Zealand, is scheduled for live broadcast on the Star Sports network, available in a variety of languages to cater to a diverse audience. For viewers in India, the match will also be accessible via live streaming on the Disney+ Hotstar app and website. The eagerly anticipated clash is set to commence at 2 pm (IST), which corresponds to 8:30 am (GMT).
As we reflect on this monumental semifinal, it's clear that this was no ordinary game of cricket. It was a spectacle where India's flawless journey met New Zealand's unwavering spirit. This match wasn't just played on the pitch; it was a duel of wits and will, showcasing the very best of cricket. With each team bringing their A-game, we witnessed a contest that will be etched in the hearts of cricket fans forever.
As we eagerly await the grand finale of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, one thing is certain – this match will be recounted for years to come as a classic encounter that exemplifies the sheer excitement and passion of cricket.
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