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Other SportsCricket World Cup 2023: India v New Zealand - Preview, expected line-ups...

Cricket World Cup 2023: India v New Zealand – Preview, expected line-ups and prediction

The State of Play

India have won every game so far at the World Cup, rounding out the group phase with a convincing victory over the Netherlands to make it nine from nine. They also possess the bulk of the leading individuals with captain Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli starring with the bat and Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami with the ball. The only potential pitfall is the expectation that is reaching fever pitch from their army of supporters.

New Zealand are looking to reach their third successive World Cup final, and then go one better than the defeats they suffered to Australia in 2015 and England four years ago. Their form in India has been mixed, winning their first four games before losing the next four. The victory over Sri Lanka on November 9 was enough to put them through to the knockout phase, as well as rebuild confidence levels ahead of the ultimate test in white-ball cricket.

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Team News

India were expected to rest several players for Sunday’s final group game against the Netherlands – particularly in their pace attack – but opted to keep the same XI. Another resounding win, and the chance for some of their part-time bowlers to turn their arms over, meant it was the perfect preparation. It’s difficult to see India diverting from the tried and trusted against the Black Caps.

The injuries that blighted New Zealand earlier in the tournament have largely dissipated. Captain Kane Williamson, Mark Chapman, Lockie Ferguson and Tim Southee are all fit. And in Rachin Ravindra, New Zealand possess the third-highest run-scorer in the tournament with 565 from nine innings. For many of their more experienced players, this could be their final crack at World Cup glory.

Expected Line-ups

India: Sharma (c), Gill, Kohli, Iyer, Rahul (wk), S Yadav, Jadeja, Bumrah, Shami, K Yadav, Siraj

New Zealand: Conway, Ravindra, Williamson (c), Mitchell, Chapman, Phillips, Latham (wk), Santner, Ferguson, Southee, Boult

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What They Said

Former India captain and current member of the coaching team, Rahul Dravid, accepts there is pressure on the team to succeed on home soil
“I think it would be inauthentic to say it’s just another game. Yes, of course, it’s a semi-final but I think our processes are not going to change. We do recognise that it’s an important game; it’s a knockout game. We have to accept the fact that there will be a certain amount of pressure.
“I think the way we have responded to pressure so far gives us a lot of belief and a lot of confidence. I don’t think we will change anything in the way we prepare or the way we train. I am really confident; just the vibe in the group and the energy in the group are really good at this point in time. “All we can do is play what is in front of us. Staying in the moment. Plan well, prepare well, and play a good game of cricket.”

New Zealand batter Rachin Ravindra on the prospect of playing India in Mumbai
“You dream of playing against a full crowd against India, who have gone unbeaten at Wankhede, a ground with so much history.
“We’ll stay level, we’ll try our best. We know we can’t win every game of cricket…but we’ll see how it plays out.”

Prediction

India have dominated every game they’ve played at the 2023 Cricket World Cup. Yes, they are under pressure but the expectation has not hindered Rohit Sharma’s men so far. Expect them to have too much firepower for New Zealand, although don’t be surprised if it’s closer than many of India’s games in this tournament.

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Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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