Can the Black Caps do it? India vs New Zealand
India vs New Zealand : New Zealand, a team which never fancied to be among favourites. However, if you give them a 50% chance of making it semi-final, they with overwhelming odds will punch above it. Testimony to that is their six semi-finals and final spot in the World Cup.
Be it 2011 World Cup beating South Africa in quarters or 2007 World Cup overcoming tough oppositions in group stages or even sneaking the way into the finals of the last edition of WC, Kiwis find inspiration to bat, bowl or field well in crucial moments.
For a country with so less population, talent, resources and amount of cricket they play it’s fantastic they have been able to command the respect of the opposition around the World. Almost all the former cricket greats and even current players seem to be wary of New Zealand threat. How far they go in the World Cup.lets analyze the World Cup squad-
New Zealand World cup Squad:
Kane Williamson (capt), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor
Martin Guptill was leading run scorer last year in the World Cup while Trent Boult was a joint wicket-taker with Mitch Starc. In Ross Taylor-Kane Williamson they have a batsman who averages above 90 while batting together with one 200 runs partnership in England.
Ross Taylor is among top five run-getter in the World post-2015 World Cup with 2892 runs at an average of 68.
Strong Batting Line Up
Martin Guptill is not rated highly in Asia because of his relatively poor record in India (avg 26). However, he has some big score in ODI cricket against top cricketing nation including a double century. Along with Williamson and Taylor, they have scored 22 of 28 century scored by New Zealand batsman. Going down the order, there is Tom Latham, Jimmy Neesham. With Trent Boult, Lockie Fergusson, Mitch Santner and Ish Sodhi. New Zealand have got players for all the conditions, and their fielding has always been top -notch. Don’t be surprised to see one of their players take the catch of the tournament.
Can they win the World Cup?
You never say no until the final ball is bowled. Australia, New Zealand, England looks good and perhaps they could fight hard for fourth spot with West Indies with Pakistan in the fray. Seems too big a task after semis if they make it. Though the first three wins have been against relatively low ranked nations, with next encounter against India the real games begin. Black Caps would need to win 3/6 meetings to make it to semis; the Odds are in their favour and with Kane Williamson, the tactically intelligent captain of the side, they can pull a rabbit out of the hat to make it to semi-finals but anything past that looks very difficult.
New Zealand vs India match point
Against India, Trent Boult becomes a significant factor, and if the swing is on offer, then he could wreak havoc with a bit of luck. Lockie Fergusson, if he gets right, can run through with pace and Matt Henry will be a handful as well. However, at Trent Bridge which offers almost no assistance to bowlers, can their bowler keep Indian batsman at a bay?
Strong Batting Line Up
In batting, they have the firepower in Collin Munro who has a century against India and strike rate of 95 against India. However, can they withstand spin-twin of Kuldeep and Chahal? Alternatively, get through with precision of Jasprit Bumrah? They lost series at home, and away against India, in last two year. So no brownie points over there. A lot will depend on the broad shoulder of Kane Williamson, but even his average fell to 39 in 23 innings played so far in as compared to the overall average of 47 in ODI. Taylor averages 41. They have men who were part of New Zealand’s glorious World Cup campaign last time around, so that is big positive for them.
Victory Against Australia A Booster
Indian team after a great victory over arch-rivals Australia will be pumped up. With Shikhar getting success thanks to his changed stance in the last match he could very well carry the same approach in this match. When Dhawan scores, India more often wins. Rohit Sharma is India’s leading run scorer in this World Cup, but all could change with Virat getting into the groove. MS Dhoni has looked in excellent hitting touch. However he can adopt a defensive approach if needed. Rahul has given a decent account of himself in two hits he’s got. Kedar Jadhav is untested with the bat, and with ball perhaps he has lost the Midas touch. No questions about Hardik with the bat but with the ball, he still looks raw to be considered the third option.
Red flag for Team India
The two teams India faced Bhuvaneswar Kumar was not given anything in his first spell. Also, target the third pacer as Australia did, and that could be India’s Achilles heel. Hardik was wicket-less in his full quota of 10 overs, and clearly, India needs to be have another bowling option or go back to fielding it’s best four bowlers.
No one toils as hard as Bhuvi, and he gave a good account of his skills in first two matches being economical and taking five wickets. However, if India wants to continue playing the same combination, Shami has to come in to hunt team in first ten over’s along with Jasprit Bumrah. India could risk putting Shami off his rhythm by benching him as they did with Bhuvi a year back. However, India not having the fourth pacer in the squad could be trouble going in the semi-finals which India should make.
Perhaps, therein lies Black Caps opportunity to go for the kill. However, as India showed against Australia, their strength is enough to outdo even the strongest of opposition. So don’t be surprised if India doesn’t make any changes and win. It’s advantage India in India vs New Zealand .
Title: Can the Black Caps do it? India vs New Zealand