India vs New Zealand: ‘Bowling second will…’: Sunil Gavaskar’s advice to Indian side ahead of World Cup semifinal clash

If the Indian team wins the toss, it should bowl second as setting up a target will put pressure on New Zealand, cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar said on November 14, a day ahead of the high-stake semifinal clash of ICC World Cup 2023 at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium.

“If India is defending a total bowling second, I do believe that will help also because there is scoreboard pressure, you might not be able to get 400 but 260 or 270, that will put pressure on New Zealand,” Gavaskar said, while speaking at Star Sports show ‘Game Plan’.

Also Read: India vs New Zealand: Here’s how toss can become ‘deciding’ factor at ICC World Cup 2023 semi-finals

The batting maestro, however, also noted that with the kind of “good” bowling attack that India has, “it doesn’t really matter if they are bowling first or bowling second”.

But, bowling second could prove to be more effective as “we have seen under a little bit of dew that comes in, the ball flies to the wicketkeeper a little bit quicker.”

Also Read: India was knocked out in last two World Cup semi-finals. Here’s why story might change this year

In such conditions, “it certainly will help the three new ball bowlers in the Indian line-up for sure, and it also helps a spinner like Kuldeep Yadav to get the ball to skid out of the surface also quicker,” Gavaskar underlined.

Notably, this will be the second ODI World Cup semifinal in a row where India would be facing New Zealand. In 2019, the Kiwis scored an 18-run win over the Men in Blue in a thrilling contest played in England’s Manchester.

However, India is considered to be the favourites moving into the semifinal of this World Cup, as the team is undefeated in the tournament so far. The Rohit Sharma-led side has won nine out of the nine league-stage matches, finishing at the top of the points table.

New Zealand, led by Kane Williamson, finished fourth on the points table with wins in five out of their nine games. During their league-stage match against India in Dharamshala on October 22, the Kiwis were defeated by four wickets. The Indian side had comfortably chased the target of 276 runs in 48 overs.

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Updated: 14 Nov 2023, 09:43 PM IST

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