The stage is set for a colossal showdown as India and New Zealand gear up for the highly anticipated semi-final clash at Mumbai’s iconic Wankhede Stadium. In a tantalizing echo of the 2019 World Cup semi-final, anticipation is rife as these cricketing powerhouses prepare to battle it out once again on Wednesday, November 15.
Recalling their last encounter in this tournament, India sought redemption by defeating New Zealand in the league stage after the latter’s triumph in 2019. With an undefeated run, India finished the league stage as the table-toppers, boasting 18 points and a remarkable run rate of +2.570.
On the other hand, New Zealand had a mixed journey, winning five out of nine games, finishing fourth in the table with 10 points and a run rate of +0.743.
The history between these teams adds further allure to this encounter. Out of 117 ODIs played, India has secured 59 victories while New Zealand has claimed 50, with one match ending in a tie and seven yielding no result.
Kane Williamson’s Press Conference
Ahead of the game, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson warned that the upcoming clash would be an entirely different affair from the group fixture.
“Dharamsala was a great game, but when you get into finals, things change,” Williamson, who missed a major portion of the World Cup due to fitness issues, said in his press conference on the eve of the semi-final in Mumbai.
“Every game is a tricky one, any team can beat anyone. For us, it’s great to reach finals and start again. India has been exceptional. One of the best teams going around,” Williamson added.
Rohit Sharma’s Press Conference
Indian skipper Rohit Sharma, in his press conference, heaped praise on Head Coach Rahul Dravid, stating, ‘We have backed certain players whom we have given specific roles. We’ll continue to support and stand by them. Credit goes to Rahul Dravid for embracing this approach and refraining from excessive changes when things don’t go as planned. We will maintain this strategy in the future: providing role clarity and granting players the freedom they need.’
“Rohit also praised the New Zealand cricket team by dubbing them the most disciplined side. ‘New Zealand is likely the most disciplined team. They play smart cricket, understanding the opposition very well and grasping the mentality of their adversaries. Their consistent presence in the semi-finals and finals of all ICC tournaments speaks volumes,'” Rohit remarked.
Both teams have endured setbacks in this tournament. New Zealand will miss Matt Henry, whose absence due to a torn right hamstring is a significant blow, especially considering his impact in the 2019 semi-final against India. India, too, faces a setback with Hardik Pandya sidelined due to an ankle injury sustained during their match against Bangladesh.
The head-to-head record in World Cups, with New Zealand winning five and India four out of ten encounters, underscores the competitive nature of their clashes, with one match impacted by rain.
India Squad for World Cup:
Rohit Sharma(c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul(w), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami
New Zealand Squad for World Cup:
Devon Conway, Will Young, Rachin Ravindra, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Latham(w/c), Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman, Mitchell Santner, Kyle Jamieson, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, James Neesham