It has been a dream World Cup campaign for the Indian cricket team and now everything boils down to having two perfect days. The quest starts with the semi-final clash against New Zealand here on Tuesday. India and New Zealand will face each other in the ICC World Cup Semi-Finals in Old Trafford, Manchester at 3 pm IST.
India topped the points table of the league phase with 15 points from nine matches, storming into the knockout phase of the World Cup 2019 in their final fixture of the league stage. New Zealand qualified for the elimination round as the fourth-placed team, as Pakistan required a win against Bangladesh in their final encounter which was almost beyond the realms of possibility.
Weather to play spoilsport
The semi-final match is likely to be interrupted by rain, with light showers forecast for match day. According to the British Met Department, reports, Tuesday will likely be cloudy, with spells of light showers. As rain-threat looms large over both the semi-finals of the ongoing ICC Men's Cricket World Cup, the apex cricketing body released information regarding reserve days for the knock-out stages of the tournament. Reserve days will be in place for both semi-finals and final of the tournament. The semi-finals of the tournament will be played between India-New Zealand and Australia-England.
What is Reserve Day?
A reserve day is required if the match officials decide that the ground and pitch conditions are not suitable for play to continue on the scheduled match day. All the steps are taken to finish the match on the scheduled date even if it requires shortening the match up to 20-overs per side or extending the match up to 120 minutes. If there is still no result on the scheduled match day, then the play goes to the reserve day, and the same time and hours of play are used as the scheduled match day.
India Vs New Zealand head-to-head stats:
After their Nottingham washout on June 13, New Zealand and India haven't met at a World Cup since 2003 at Centurion, South Africa.
In the current edition, India will be playing New Zealand for the first time, as their previous match at Nottingham was washed out without toss due to rain.
India and New Zealand have had 7 previous World Cup meetings between them. New Zealand holds the edge over India with four wins, while the latter won only thrice.
Ranking of India and New Zealand:
India is second in the ODI rankings and topped the preliminary ladder with seven wins. Their only defeat was by 31 runs to England at Edgbaston.
New Zealand is ranked fourth and qualified fourth, after five wins and three successive defeats to Pakistan, Australia, and England.
Clash of captains:
Kane Williamson has 481 tournament runs, including two centuries, while Virat Kohli has 442 runs. Against India, Williamson averages 38.91 including one century (career ODI average 47.89); against New Zealand, Kohli averages 68.52 including five centuries (career ODI average 59.70).
India vs New Zealand clash of the best players:
To India's comfort, New Zealand's tournament has gone on a downward spiral during their last three games but their initial good work helped them beat Pakistan to a last-four spot. But it couldn't have been more enticing that Rohit (647), KL Rahul (360) and Virat Kohli (442) with a cumulative contribution of 1347 runs will meet their match in Ferguson (17 wickets), Boult (15 wickets) and Matt Henry (10 wickets), who have shared 42 wickets between them. Not to forget that all-rounder Jimmy Neesham (11 wickets) and Colin de Grandhomme (5 wickets) take the seamers' tally to 58 wickets.
India and Old Trafford:
The only time India played in a World Cup semi-finals in England was at the Old Trafford, in their trophy-winning campaign of 1983 when they had faced the hosts.
India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohanmmed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mayank Agarwal, Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (captain), Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), Tom Blundell, Colin de Grandhomme, Jimmy Neesham, Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Mitchell Samtner, Henry Nicholls, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi.
(Inputs from Agencies)