A consistent and stellar show in the league stage has taken India to the semi-finals of the ICC World Cup 2019 while New Zealand are seeing a massive dip in their performance as the tournament has progressed.
New Zealand relies on an all-round pace attack with a champion batsman to guide the team while India has a strong top order and a probing bowling aresenal. These facets make this contest interesting but the fate of this game could well be decided by these three player battles.
Hardik Pandya versus spinners. It can’t get more exciting. Pandya is in terrific form and is striking the ball hard and handsome. And he has history of dispatching spinners out of the stadium.
But against New Zealand’s ace spinner, Mitchell Santner, Pandya hasn’t enjoyed much success yet. Santner has infact tied him effectively and it will be enthralling to watch how Pandya plays Santner on the big stage.
Santner versus Pandya:
Total balls delivered: 32
Runs scored: 25
Batting strike-rate: 78.12
Total dismissals: 3
This is pure gold. The best Indian bowler versus the best New Zealand batsman. Williamson is technically sound, has impeccable mental strength and has all the shots in the cricket book.
On the other hand, Bumrah albeit unorthodox bowls a sharp and accurate line has immense control over his variations and has a calm mind that plots the downfall of the batsman.
This epic battle between two stalwarts is one of the highlights of this contest. So far, Williamson has found it difficult to score against Bumrah but at the same time has shielded his wicket well.
Williamson is known for his late dabs to third man area and he does this even to deliveries that are very close to the stumps. But will he risk playing his go to stroke against Bumrah who generally bowls extremely tight line?
Bumrah versus Williamson:
Total balls delivered: 69
Runs scored: 31
Batting strike-rate: 44.92
Total dismissals: 1
Also read: IND vs NZ Dream11 Captain; Top three picks
This is the battle of this contest. New Zealand’s hopes of reaching the finals of World Cup depend on how quickly they get rid of Rohit and for this they have the perfect bowler- Trent Boult.
Boult’s left-arm pace has troubled Rohit in the past and he averages only 22.52 against left-arm pace bowlers. But in this tournament, the Indian opener has neutralized the threat of Aamir and Starc with ease. Can he do the same against Boult?
Rohit versus Boult:
Total balls delivered: 71
Runs scored: 56
Batting strike-rate: 78.87
Total dismissals: 3