Recent form suggests India look the goods in first CWC19 semi
A run of three-consecutive defeats heading into the 2019 Cricket World Cup finals for New Zealand isn’t a good sign at all. The Indians on the other hand have barely put a foot wrong since landing in the UK, Rohit Sharma’s superior-hitting at the top of the order accompanied by Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami wreaking havoc with the ball sees them in great shape. The subcontinent-specialists find themselves in a very-strong position now as they creep towards that elusive World Cup, but for now it’s just out of their reach. As mentioned above, the Black Caps form indicates a drop off in all the major facets of the game including the most important of them, competitiveness. Opening batsman Martin Guptill is under immense pressure to perform, he’s had a lackluster-tournament with just the one half-century that came in their opening fixture against Sri Lanka. Under the spotlight is an understatement.
To make matters worse for New Zealand, KL Rahul’s recent century alongside Rohit at the top of the order means that both Indian openers are well-equipped coming into this crucial semi-final clash. If the Black Caps are any chance of producing an upset against the red-hot Indians, it has to be their front-line seamers that dictate terms early. The combination of Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson is a deadly one if the execution is there, Ferguson has been super-impressive throughout New Zealand’s campaign while Boult has produced some of his best work at the back-end of this World Cup. Up against a batting giant with Rohit, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant and even MS Dhoni who can polish the innings off with a veterans touch, India could potentially nullify the impact of Boult and Ferguson.
Given Ravindra Jadeja has only played a single game in this year’s World Cup, Yuzvendra Chahal is likely to return to the playing XI with Kedar Jadhav. For the Black Caps, Lockie Ferguson is expected to come straight back in for Tim Southee who was unsuccessful in his only game of the tournament. New Zealand have a habit of leaving it all up to Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor if early wickets tumble, and despite their unquestionable-abilities with the bat it’s not ideal to keep shoveling the pressure onto the duo. We saw in the last match against England that the pressure became all too much for them, resulting in two run outs at the expense of both Williamson (albeit extremely-unlucky) and Taylor. India have plenty of targets to aim at, can the Black Caps somehow dodge enough bullets to survive?
Top 5 fantasy picks – India
- Jasprit Bumrah
- Rohit Sharma
- Virat Kohli
- Rishabh Pant
- Hardik Pandya
Wildcard pick – Yuzvendra Chahal
Top 5 fantasy picks – New Zealand
- Kane Williamson
- Trent Boult
- Lockie Ferguson
- Ross Taylor
- James Neesham
Wildcard pick – Martin Guptill
Predicted Team XI’s
India (possible) – 1. KL Rahul 2. Rohit Sharma 3. Virat Kohli (c) 4. Rishabh Pant 5. Hardik Pandya 6. MS Dhoni (wk) 7. Kedar Jadhav 8. Bhuvneshwar Kumar 9. Kuldeep Yadav 10. Jasprit Bumrah 11. Yuzvendra Chahal.
New Zealand (possible) – 1. Martin Guptill 2. Henry Nicholls 3. Kane Williamson (c) 4. Ross Taylor 5. Tom Latham (wk) 6. James Neesham 7. Colin de Grandhomme 8. Mitchell Santner 9. Matt Henry 10. Lockie Ferguson 11. Trent Boult.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.