Two in-form sides on track for World Cup (WC) semi-final action lock horns at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, with the winner sure to collect a significant mathematical and psychological advantage.
India have claimed ten of their last 14 ODIs (and 13 of their last 14 WC fixtures), while New Zealand enter the contest having won 11 of their last 12 WC matches as well as their last five ODIs. In addition to strong batting and fielding, both bowling attacks have excelled, with India and New Zealand claiming 30/30 and 19/20 wickets, respectively, so far in the tournament.
With 49 wickets taken in the three matches at Nottingham this tournament, the teams move to a venue where bowling has just about reigned supreme, despite expectations of a WC record score after two 400+ scores from England between WCs. With 40 of those 49 wickets collected by seamers, it promises to set up an intense arm-wrestle between two of the strongest pace attacks in the world.
India’s mammoth 116 runs with the bat in their final ten overs against Australia proved to be the difference, and they are sure to be a greater test for a Blackcaps outfit who restricted Bangladesh to just 56 runs in the death overs last Wednesday, while not even letting Sri Lanka or Afghanistan get that far.
Shikhar Dhawan is certain to miss this fixture with a fractured thumb sustained in the win over Australia. KL Rahul is expected to shift up the order; while any one of Dinesh Karthik, Vijay Shankar or Ravi Jadeja will slot into the middle order.
Australia’s narrow victory over the West Indies was just the second time in 14 Nottingham ODIs this decade that a team has successfully defended under 300. On the other occasion, it was New Zealand failing to chase down just 288 in 2013. What better time to improve their Trent Bridge record than the present?
IND vs NZ – Probable XI
KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (c), Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah.
Colin Munro/Henry Nicholls, Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult.
IND vs NZ – Players to watch out for
KL Rahul (IND) has sustained an ODI batting average of 56.00 (7 inns, SR 83.58) when opening for India. After a stellar IPL at the top of the Kings XI Punjab order, can he keep that run going?
Kane Williamson (NZL) has returned to some of his finest form after a fairly lean IPL season, reaching 40 in each of his last four 50-over innings (including the warmups). However, he’s still hankering for a first ODI century in more than 15 months (16 innings).
The average winning first innings score at Trent Bridge is 308. New Zealand hold the record for most sixes in a single innings by a visiting team at Trent Bridge (ten v ENG, 2015).
Since the 2015 WC, India have enjoyed a 73.68% win rate (W14, L4, T1) without Shikhar Dhawan in the XI (65.91% with).
India have won six of their last seven ODIs against New Zealand.