World Cup 2019: India's strongest playing XI for the Semi-Final
India ended the round-robin phase of the World Cup on a high, etching a commanding 7-wicket win over Sri Lanka. Australia's loss to South Africa in the last league game ensured that India seal the top spot of the points table. As a result, the Men in Blue would be playing their semi-final tie against New Zealand at the Old Trafford Stadium at Manchester on the 9th of July.
India have enjoyed a dominant run in this tournament, with 7 wins, and a loss and no-result apiece in their 9 league games. They have ticked most of the boxes in the three departments and tried a few different combinations in the last two games to ensure a better balance to the side.
Virat Kohli's team are one of the firm contenders for the title and are certainly the team to beat in this tournament. Let's have a look at the strongest XI that could be fielded by India at Manchester in the first semi-final:
#Openers - Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul
Rohit Sharma has been in the form of his life in this World Cup. He has taken the responsibility of a senior player and the vice-captain on his shoulders and essayed both the roles to perfection. Rohit is the top run-getter in the tournament at the moment, with 647 runs in 8 innings. He has scored five centuries, breaking Kumar Sangakkara's record of most centuries in a single edition of the World Cup. He has also equalled the record of most hundreds in the tournament.
KL Rahul is one of the most technically sound batsmen in the team. Being promoted to the top of the order due to the ouster of Shikhar Dhawan, Rahul has played some steady knocks, rendering support to the in-form Rohit. After getting useful starts in several games, Rahul finally made them count against Sri Lanka, as he scored his maiden World Cup hundred. He forms one of the crucial players for India going into the semi-finals.
Rohit and Rahul have synced in beautifully and are complementing each other with their disparate approaches top the order. The duo have broken the record for the highest opening partnership for India in World Cups twice in two games, putting 180 and 189 runs respectively. India would hope that the openers make the most of their purple patch in the semifinals.
Also read – World cup winners list