World Cup 2019: Virat Kohli up for biggest game of his captaincy vs NZ

Published: Jul 09, 2019, 11:15 IST | mid-day online desk

Though the formidable Indian top-order, led by tournament top-scorer Rohit Sharma, is expected to deliver, New Zealand's seam attack will also be ready and waiting to knock at the corridor of uncertainty.

World Cup 2019: Virat Kohli up for biggest game of his captaincy vs NZ
Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma (Pic/ AFP)

The story is going according to script for Virat Kohli's men so far in the World Cup 2019, but India face a tough and determined New Zealand squad in the semi-final today.

The quest starts with the semifinal clash against New Zealand here on Tuesday. And though the formidable Indian top-order, led by tournament top-scorer Rohit Sharma, is expected to deliver, New Zealand's seam attack will also be ready and waiting to knock at the corridor of uncertainty.

It has been a campaign in which Kohli and his men have been successfully able to hide their chinks even without a suitable 'Plan B' but they don't have an option of letting the script go awry anymore.
The sub-plots promise to be fascinating --- Rohit trying to hook a Lockie Ferguson bouncer, KL Rahul negotiating one from Trent Boult that could tail in, Kohli smashing Matt Henry all around.
Or it could be Kane Williamson's near perfect technique against spinners or Ross Taylor trying to get a grip of Jasprit Bumrah.

Last but not the least is whether Mahendra Singh Dhoni is able to get a hang of Mitchell Santner's slow left-arm orthodox bowling having watched him closely at the Chennai Super Kings nets.
A near flawless campaign could come to a naught against a gutsy Black Caps side which has always asked probing questions in ICC tournaments.

Battles to Watch out for

Trent Boult vs Rohit Sharma: New Zealand premier pace bowler Trent Boult and India's opener Rohit Sharma have both been in marvellous form throughout the tournament. Rohit Sharma can't stop scoring hundreds and Trent Boult will be eager to take him out early in the innings so that Mumbai's Hitman does not do much damage to New Zealand.

Jasprit Bumrah vs Kane Williamson: New Zealand's captain Kane Williamson has been the leading run-scorer for his team and has taken the Kiwis to the finishing line consistently throughout the tournament. Whereas Jasprit Bumrah has been grinding out the yorkers and crushing toes and stumps for India. It will be a matchup between the world's best ODI bowler and New Zealand's best batsman and it will definitely be a battle to watch out for.


Squads

India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohanmmed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mayank Agarwal, Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (captain), Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), Tom Blundell, Colin de Grandhomme, Jimmy Neesham, Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Mitchell Samtner, Henry Nicholls, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi.
Match Starts 3 pm.

With inputs from PTI

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