Renowned commentator Harsha Bhogle feels that New Zealand missing out on a fifth bowler in their playing XI could hinder them in the World Cup semi-final clash against India at Wankhede. Bhogle expressed his concern about the lack of depth in New Zealand’s bowling, while Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Lockie Ferguson head up an impressive pace trio and Mitchell Santner has established himself as an accomplished spinner, Bhogle questions whether the Blackcaps can afford to make an attempt to obtain 10 overs of bowling from the likes of all-rounders Glenn Phillips and Rachin Ravindra.
“Santner is bowling very well, but do they have a fifth bowler? That could be a weakness and there are a few holes in that side. So many things have gone wrong for New Zealand since they started the World Cup – especially to their endearing popular captain Kane Williamson – so maybe this is the day it will all come right, who knows,” Bhogle said in the ICC Review Podcast.
One thing to ponder is that throughout the World Cup, the Kiwis failed to win a single match against the other three teams that have qualified for the semi-final stage. But en route to the 2019 World Cup final, the New Zealand team didn’t win a single match against the teams that qualified for the semi-final but won against India.
Bhogle feels the Blackcaps are missing that “X-Factor” which could affect them and said, “New Zealand have struggled a lot in this tournament and have not beaten a team that has qualified for the semi-final, but they hadn’t in 2019 either. Most of what they have is probably good enough to make the semi-finals and the final and then they need a dash of inspiration at some stage which maybe they have fallen short of over the years. I think they are a top-four (EPL) premiership side. They are probably an Arsenal under (Arsene) Wenger. Enough to come up to a point, but maybe don’t quite have that X-factor.”
India squad: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishan Kishan, Prasidh Krishna, Suryakumar Yadav.
New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (c), Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitch Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Will Young.
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