Virat Kohli’s Indian cricket team has shown they are worthy contenders to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 when they put in a clinical performance against Australia. Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli and the bowlers put in a fine performance and India won the match by 36 runs. What should have been a great moment and a stepping stone for further success in the tournament has now been marred by two factors. India’s next game against New Zealand in Trent Bridge is under a rain cloud. However, the major concern for the team is Shikhar Dhawan’s thumb injury, which has ruled him out of the next two games against Pakistan and Afghanistan in addition to the game against New Zealand.
India’s batting coach Sanjay Bangar has said Dhawan will take close to 10-12 days to recover and Vijay Shankar is being viewed as one of the options. With no official replacement being named and Rishabh Pant brought in as cover, the game against New Zealand gives India plenty of options to test their bench strength. With Shankar’s addition, the bowling and the batting get an added boost.
For New Zealand, their real examination begins now. They had a convincing win against Sri Lanka and scrapped over the line against Bangladesh. A convincing win against Afghanistan will put them in good stead but against India, they will have to be on top of their game at all times. Trent Boult, who bowled a brilliant spell in both of New Zealand’s wins against India in Hamilton and in the warm-up at The Oval, will be vital. Lockie Ferguson and Matt Henry have operated brilliantly.
The batting, which was a problem in the home series, will be put to a big test against the likes of Jasprit Bumrah. With the pitch offering extra bounce, the Indian team might be tempted to try out Mohammed Shami in place of Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
With Shikhar Dhawan ruled out, KL Rahul will open the batting with Rohit Sharma. With Shankar in that position, Kohli's side has more options. Shami's inclusion will be good on a seaming deck while the Kiwis might want to keep the same team.
India (Playing XI): KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli(c), Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni(w), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah
New Zealand (Playing XI): Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson(c), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham(w), James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult
Who will win?
India has a much-better bowling and batting line-up than New Zealand. However, if the pitch offers seam movement and if the weather remains overcast, then New Zealand hold the edge.
Weather and pitch
The weather is not good on match day in Trent Bridge. The practice sessions were abandoned due to persistent rain and there are fears that the match can be truncated.
New Zealand has a 4-3 head-to-head advantage against India in World Cups. However, the most interesting stat is India have lost all three of their previous World Cup encounters against New Zealand in England.
Stadium and timings
The match will be played at Trent Bridge, Nottingham and the match will begin at 3:00 PM IST.