The first semi-final of the ODI World Cup 2023 between India and New Zealand will be played on Wednesday, November 15. In this World Cup, India has defeated New Zealand in the league match, but facing the Kiwi team at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai will be a completely different challenge.
Here, along with the batsmen, the seam and swing bowlers also get a lot of help, whereas in the second innings, facing the new ball under flood lights can be very difficult. New Zealand team equipped with world class bowlers and batsmen can present a challenge to India on the ground of Mumbai. In this, Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner and Trent Boult will be a big challenge for the Indian team.
We will try to decode what could be the strategy of the Indian team in the semi-finals considering the current form of both the teams and the conditions in Mumbai.
It is important to win the toss at Wankhede ground. Here the team batting first has the advantage. In this World Cup, 3 out of 4 matches have been won by the team batting first.
While batting against England, South Africa had scored 399 on this ground. In this World Cup, the team batting first has scored an average of 357 runs, while the team batting in the second innings has been able to score only 188 runs on an average. In this World Cup, India had scored 357 runs against Sri Lanka on this ground and had bowled out Sri Lanka for 55 runs.
In case of chasing on Wankhede ground, the first 15 overs will have to be played carefully. The main reason for this is that the new ball swings and seams more for longer periods under lights at night. India took 6 wickets in the powerplay against Sri Lanka on the basis of seam and swing, while South Africa took four and three wickets against England and Bangladesh respectively. While chasing in the 4 matches played on this ground, the teams have lost 17 out of 40 wickets in the powerplay, whereas while batting first this figure is only 5 wickets.
The only successful chase in this World Cup has been done by Glenn Maxwell on this ground. At that time Australia had also given 4 wickets to the Afghans. Maxwell maintained patience in the initial overs and then played big shots and scored a double century and won. It will be easy to chase if wickets are not lost in the first 15 overs.
New Zealand have more bowling options than India, but only four full-time specialist bowlers. One of the biggest reasons for New Zealand's success in the tournament is their wicket of the 5th and 6th bowlers.
Glenn Phillips and Rachin Ravindra are responsible for the 5th and 6th bowlers. It was Glenn Phillips who broke the 175-run partnership against Australia by taking important wickets of David Warner and Travis Head in the middle overs. However, New Zealand will try left arm bowler Rachin Ravindra more than Phillips, as the top 6 players in India's lineup are right handers.
Indian batsmen will have to create pressure on the Kiwis by bowling big overs against these two players. Due to lack of a 5th specialist bowler, India will get ample opportunity to attack even in case of losing the toss.
India will have to save wickets by playing carefully against Trent Boult and Mitchell Santner. Santner is New Zealand's top wicket taker in this World Cup. Santner has played maximum 22 matches in his ODI career against India only. Out of his 16 wickets in this World Cup, 15 have been right-handed batsmen. India does not have any left-handed batsman before No. 7.
On the other hand, Trent Boult has always been the biggest challenge against India. Indian players have always been seen struggling against left arm pacers. Bolt had LBW Virat Kohli in the 2019 World Cup semi-final and gave a comeback to New Zealand by taking the wicket of Ravindra Jadeja who scored 77 runs.
Indian batsmen will have to save wickets in front of these two players, otherwise Glenn Phillips and Rachin Ravindra will also emerge as a challenge in bowling.
Date: July 10, 2019. Old Trafford Ground in Manchester, England. Mahendra Singh Dhoni gets run out by a distance of 2 inches. With this, India's hope of winning the World Cup also runs out. India is out of the World Cup after losing the semi-final match by 18 runs.