World Cup 2019: India vs New Zealand - Why Virat Kohli and Co. have an edge over the Kiwis
India have reached the semi-final stage of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. With a bit of help from the Proteas, India was able to finish at the top of the points table. India will now face New Zealand in the semi-final on July 9 at Old Trafford, Manchester.
India comprehensively defeated Sri Lanka in the last game with the help of centuries from both the openers. Rohit Sharma is currently in the best form of his career. He has scored five centuries in the tournament till now, which is also the highest by any batsman in a single edition of World Cup.
KL Rahul is brilliantly supporting Rohit and was able to convert his good start into a century against Sri Lanka. Virat Kohli has also been in good form, scoring five half-centuries in this World Cup. Hardik Pandya has continued his rich vein of form from the IPL and has the ability to score quick runs at the death as well as pick up a few wickets.
On the other hand, New Zealand's openers have miserably failed in the tournament besides the first game against Sri Lanka. Martin Guptill has contributed more while fielding than with the bat. Colin Munro was replaced by Henry Nicholls but he also didn't perform well. Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor have remained the leading run-scorers for New Zealand, but both of these lost their wickets quite early in the last two games.
For India, Jasprit Bumrah is the leading wicket-taker in this World Cup and has taken wickets whenever the team needed him to. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Hardik Pandya are bowling brilliantly. Ravindra Jadeja was added in the squad against Sri Lanka and bowled economically. He also brings an extra batting option for the team. Indian bowlers can defend a low score. They did the same against Afghanistan and West Indies.
Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson have remained the best bowlers for New Zealand. Matt Henry has also ably supported the duo. Mitchell Santner hasn't picked up a lot of wickets but has remained economical throughout the tournament.
There's no doubting that the Kiwis' bowling attack could cause the Indians a lot of damage. But given how Rohit Sharma has batted throughout the tournament and with KL Rahul coming into his own of late, if the openers can negate the early swing, India could easily score the big runs.
So India are the favourites to win this match and should confirm their place in the final at Lord's. But India will have to play brilliantly because New Zealand is a tough team to beat.
Also read - World cup all time records