India pipped a low lying Sri Lanka by 7 wickets at Leeds courtesy Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul’s brilliant century and Jasprit Bumrah’s three wickets, to take two points from the game. The Virat Kohli led side finished with 16 points in 9 games which includes a washed out game against New Zealand. India needed South Africa to pip Australia to top the table and the Faf Du Plessis led side didn’t disappoint by scoring 325 runs after winning the toss. Australian top order failed to fire but the intent from the middle order batsmen was not enough to win the game for them. South Africa won by 10 runs and helped India top the league table after which they will be up against a low lying New Zealand in the semi-final at Manchester.
The Kane Williamson led side won the warm-up game against India by 6 wickets to take the confidence into the world cup. The two sides will now be up against each other in the knockout stage of the tournament. Considering the recent form, India looks in compact touch after two clinical victories against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka after they were hammered by England on 30th June.
New Zealand were sitting on top of the table at one stage but their three consecutive loss to Australia, England and Pakistan in the latter part of the league stage didn’t help their cause. The black caps managed to get a semi-final berth but they will have to punch above their weight to thump a confident Indian team.
Match date– 25th May, 2019 (Saturday)
Match timings- 3 PM in India, 9:30 PM in New Zealand and 10:30 AM in England
TV Channels broadcasting the game in India- Star Sports network
TV Channels broadcasting the game in New Zealand- Sky Sports Nz
Live streaming– Hotstar.com or Hotstar mobile app
Head to head in world cup
New Zealand won– 4
India won– 3
No result/rain– 1
The pitch at Old Trafford does not have a tinker of grass cover on it. The newly prepared pitch is hard and solid but it may contain some moisture as the ground was covered due to rain. The pitch may suit the fast bowlers with an added advantage of overcast conditions which may prevail through the course of the day. However, if a batsman stamps his authority in the center then it will be tough job for the bowlers.
Traditionally, the pitch is suited for the chasing teams as the wicket gets better for the batsman as the day progresses but the story has been different in the ongoing world. A total of five matches have been played on the venue and the teams batting first have won on all the occasions.
Toss will play an important role in the game as the team winning the toss will look to score a total of over 300+ and make it a tough job for the chasing side.
Concerns for both the teams
1- The poor form of Kuldeep Yadav can affect the bowling of Yuzvendra Chahal as the spin twins are renowned for hunting in pair. In all likely terms, India will bench Kuldeep Yadav for the crucial encounter.
2- Too much dependency on top order and the failure of middle order.
1- The success rate of the teams is dependent on the success of the openers but the Kiwi opening pair of Martin Guptill and Colin Munro have failed to put up a good show.
2- The bad form of spinner- Mitchell Santner has been a big concern for the black caps. He has picked 4 wickets in eight games and has failed to contain the batsman in the middle overs.
India: Virat Kohli (C), Dinesh Karthik(W), MS Dhoni (W), Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya, Lokesh Rahul, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kedar Jadhav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mayank Agarwal and Rishabh Pant(W)
New Zealand:(C), Ross Taylor, Tim Southee, Martin Guptill, Tom Blundell (W), Colin de Grandhomme, Colin Munro, Henry Nicholls, Trent Boult, Tom Latham (W), Ish Sodhi, James Neesham, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry and Mitchell Santner.