India vs New Zealand, WC semi-final 1: Win the toss, bat first and win the game?

Win the toss, bat first and win the game – This particular strategy has paid off the teams rich dividends in 2019 Cricket World Cup. India take on New Zealand tomorrow in the first semi final of 2019 World Cup which sets up to be an exciting affair of cricket.

The clash between Men in Blue and the Black Caps shares eerie similarities with 2008 U-19 World Cup semi-finals. During the U-19 World Cup semi-final, India faced New Zealand and were spearheaded by Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson respectively.

Both teams have played each other 8 times in the history of World Cup with New Zealand coming out victorious 4 times. India won on three occasions and one match got abandoned which happened in the ongoing World Cup.

Chase only if you can ft. Kane Williamson and Rohit Sharma

Chasing in 2019 World Cup has proved to be a tough nut to crack. In the 45 matches held, teams chasing have only been successful 14 times. Batting first has rewarded the teams on 27 occasions while four matches were abandoned due to rain.

Kane Williamson has led New Zealand by example like always and been rock solid in World Cup 2019. For the major part of the World Cup, the Kiwis have been dependent on Kane Williamson. The captain has played 71 ODI innings since the 2015 World Cup. In 44 of them, he has had to bat in the first five overs.

As far as India are concerned, Rohit Sharma’s juggernaut has rolled over the opponents time and again. He brought up his fifth century of the campaign against Sri Lanka in the last group stage match of 2019 World Cup.

Rohit Sharma is having a phenomenal 2019 as he has left behind Indian skipper Virat Kohli in terms of centuries hit in the year. Rohit Sharma sits pretty on top with nine centuries while Virat Kohli has hit six centuries in 2019. With so much firepower in India’s top 3, the middle order still remains vulnerable and a case unsolved.

The frailities are visible. New Zealand dismantled India in the warm up game as the Men in Blue found themselves on 39 for 4 and were eventually bundled out for 179. Earlier in the year, New Zealand bowled India out for a mere 92 in Hamilton.

Trent Boult remains the biggest worry for India’s batting lineup and he can cause a ‘bolt in the blue’.

India vs New Zealand at World Cups

1975: The first meeting for these two in a World Cup. New Zealand went on to defeat India by 4 wickets. Glenn Turner scored an unbeaten 114 while Abid Ali scored 70 and took a couple of wickets.

1979: A cakewalk for The Kiwis. India were defeated by New Zealand convincingly by 8 wickets. New Zealand batsman Bruce Edgar scored 84-not out.

1987: First taste of victory for India in a World Cup fixture. India defeated New Zealand by 16 runs. India put 250 on board while batting first. Navjot Singh Sidhu top scored with 75 runs.

1987: Second meeting in the same World Cup. Another victory for India as they defeated New Zealand by 9 wickets. Sunil Gavaskar made 103-not out while Chetan Sharma claimed a hattrick with figures of 3/51.

1992: New Zealand eclipses India in head-to-head. The Kiwis defeated India by 4 wickets. Mark Greatbatch scored a match-winning 73 off 77. For India, it was the young Sachin Tendulkar who top-scored with 84 runs.

1999: New Zealand leaves dark stain on India’s forgettable World Cup campaign as they went on to defeat India by 5 wickets. Roger Twose hit an unbeaten 60 and got the Man of the Match award.

2003: Zaheer Khan’s 4-fer leaves the Kiwis dry as they are bundled out for a mere 146. Rahul Dravid and Mohammad Kaif made a 129 runs partnership as India won by 7 wickets.

2019: Match got abandoned.

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Gourav Pilania

Gourav Pilania is the Head of Content at ProSports11. He is also a guest writer for The Hindu, India Today, Sportskeeda, The Roar, BlastingNews, and SportsCafe. He can be followed on twitter @pilania_gourav. Massive Liverpool FC supporter.

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