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World Cup 2019: Opinion- Match going into a reserve day is great news for India and bad news for New Zealand

India v New Zealand - ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 Semi-Final
India v New Zealand - ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 Semi-Final
Modified 11 Jul 2019

With rain intervening in an India-New Zealand match for the second time in this World Cup, the first semi-final between the two teams will now resume on the reserve day.

Indian bowlers have done very well to restrict New Zealand to a relatively small total. However, this sort of a middling total can sometimes be tricky. Luckily for India though, the batting is now much stronger with Bhuvneshwar Kumar batting at number nine.

What will further help India is the fact that they now get a lot of time to plan their chase. If the match had been reduced to fewer overs, India would have lost some of its advantage. With Boult and co. in their side, New Zealand has a more than capable bowling unit, which could trouble any batting line up, if the conditions are conducive.

But with the match set to resume tomorrow, and if rain does not intervene again, even a score around 240 should not be that difficult a proposition for this Indian line up. The Indian openers have been very conservative in the first ten overs in almost all their matches. A score like this is perfect for that kind of approach.

In the worst case scenario, even if a couple of their top order batsmen fail, they have enough firepower, the explosiveness of Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya, and the solidity and experience of Dinesh Karthik and MS Dhoni to ensure that this total is chased comfortably.

The presence of two solid lower order batsmen in Ravindra Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the lower order will give further confidence to the top and middle order batsmen. They can afford to play out Boult or whichever bowler poses a challenge on the day.

New Zealand would have certainly preferred to play today, with reduced number of overs. But with the match set to resume tomorrow where Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar are set to bowl the final four overs, it is difficult to imagine them adding too many runs. They may even end up with a score less than the DLS score for them if their innings had ended due to rain today.

Looked from any perspective, the match going into a reserve day is advantage India and it has more or less scuttled any hope of an unlikely New Zealand victory.

Published 09 Jul 2019, 23:52 IST
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