World Cup 2019, Semi-final 1: India vs New Zealand - 3 key players who can win the game for India
India takes on New Zealand in the first semi-final of the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup at Old Trafford in Manchester on Tuesday. Virat Kohli's men come into this game on the back of a win over Sri Lanka at Headingley on Saturday while Kane Williamson's New Zealand were beaten soundly by hosts England at the Riverside Ground in Chester-le-Street, Durham.
India appears to be the favourites on paper but there is no telling how the Kiwis will fare in the semifinal. The pitch at Old Trafford will be conducive to batting and both sides are heavily loaded with specialists.
We pick out three key players who can win the game for India.
#1 Rohit Sharma
It goes without saying that India's opener Rohit Sharma should be the first person on this list. He is the tournament's leading run scorer with five centuries and one half-century to his name in the eight innings he has played. The man from Mumbai is the biggest threat to New Zealand on Tuesday and if he gets going, Kane Williamson's men will be out of the contest very early.
Sharma has the peculiar ability to score runs very quickly and once he gets the hang of the pitch and weather conditions, he can be a tough nut to crack. New Zealand should try to go at him when he is new to the crease because his feet do not move as well then as they do later on.
#2 Virat Kohli
The world's number one ODI batsman and India's captain Virat Kohli is another danger man who can take the game away from the Kiwis in a matter of minutes at Old Trafford on Tuesday. Kohli has not notched up a century in this World Cup yet and perhaps he could make up for it against New Zealand in the first semi-final.
The Delhi batsman, who comes in at number three for India, will be key to holding the innings together for India. Kohli loves big games and the one against New Zealand will be one of the biggest of his career.
#3 Jasprit Bumrah
The world's number one ODI bowler Jasprit Bumrah is a nightmare for opposition batsmen. The man from Ahmedabad can bowl inswinging yorkers at a deadly pace and that is what makes him such a dangerous bowler. Bumrah is equally threatening with both the new and old ball.
Captain Virat Kohli will rely on Bumrah for regular wickets. His action and run-up can be a bit deceiving but one believes that the Kiwis, led by Kane Williamson, will come well prepared on Tuesday at Old Trafford in Manchester. Still, India has the upper hand.
Also see – India vs New Zealand head to head stats