ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Three opponents New Zealand might struggle to beat
After the conclusion of the Indian Premier League, the focus is now shifted to the ICC Cricket World Cup which is scheduled to begin from the 30th of May 2019 in England and Wales.
The ten-team tournament will start with hosts England, India and Australia tipped to clinch the title while New Zealand will enter the competition as the dark horses, having finished as runners-up of the 2015 edition.
New Zealand boasts of a world-class squad with the strong batting order comprising of skipper Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill, and Ross Taylor. The middle order has the presence of all-rounders Jimmy Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme while the pace battery is well rounded with experienced pacers such as Trent Boult and Tim Southee set to lead the unit.
However, New Zealand have failed to win a single World Cup and here, we have a look at the three opponents who could give a tough fight to New Zealand in this World Cup.
India is one of the strongest teams in this year's ICC World Cup. Having played in the recently concluded Indian Premier League (IPL), most of the Indian players have been in great form. While talking about playing against India, New Zealand enjoy a pretty good rivalry.
New Zealand were the runners up of the 2015 World Cup but failed to get past the line while India had a dismal show. The two teams have faced each other seven times in the history of the World Cup, with New Zealand winning four encounters with a win percentage of 57.14. However, India registered a 4-1 series win against them earlier this year where Mohammad Shami's searing pace did the job for India and earned him the 'Man of the Series' award.
Yet, New Zealand claimed an easy win over India in their first warm-up game of this World Cup at the Kennington Oval, London where Trent Boult's 4-wicket haul and James Neesham's three wickets dismantled India's batting.
However, India have a strong all-round side, with the top three of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli oozing class and the likes of Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah proving their worth as match-winners.
New Zealand will play against India on June 13 at Trent Bridge, Nottingham and it is expected that India will bounce back and could be a hurdle for New Zealand in their way of winning the title.
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