India vs New Zealand, Cricket World Cup 2023 Semi-Final: 3 Factors Which Give India An Edge Over New Zealand Going Into Semi-Finals

The Indian cricket team will square off against New Zealand in the first semi-final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 on Wednesday, November 15 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. The upcoming tie is a rematch of the 2019 World Cup semi-final, a contest in which India faced defeat at Old Trafford, Manchester. However, as the team led by Rohit Sharma prepares for the crucial encounter, they ride a wave of success, having secured victories in all nine of their league matches. India’s journey in the World Cup has been bolstered by stellar performances with both bat and ball. Meanwhile, New Zealand have experienced a rollercoaster ride in the tournament. After four consecutive victories, they suffered four successive defeats before ultimately securing a spot in the World Cup semi-final with a five-wicket triumph over Sri Lanka in their last league game.

Ahead of the India vs New Zealand semi-final clash, what distinguishes the Men in Blue is their pervasive dominance throughout the tournament, establishing them as a formidable and unbeatable team. Here are three factors that provide India the edge over New Zealand as they approach the last-four clash.

1. Depth in squad

One of the major strengths of Team India in the ongoing World Cup is its bench strength. Whether it is the opening combination, middle order, spin department or bowling attack, Indian captain Rohit Sharma has plenty of options to choose from in each department.

Hardik Pandya’s injury posed a threat to the balance of the team midway through the tournament. However, Mohammed Shami’s entry proved pivotal for India as he destroyed the opposition line-ups consistently.

The likes of Ishan Kishan, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel and Prasidh Krishna sitting on the bench underscores the depth within the Indian team.

On the contrary, injury-stricken New Zealand find themselves lacking in squad depth. Since the injury to their pacer Matt Henry, the Kiwis have encountered challenges in the bowling department. Although fast bowlers Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson and spinner Mitchell Santner fulfill their quota of 10 overs, the struggle lies in identifying a reliable fifth bowler option. New Zealand’s weak link was exposed when Glenn Phillips conceded 42 runs in five overs against Pakistan. In the Sri Lanka match, New Zealand had to utilise Rachin Ravindra as the fifth bowler. Against a formidable Indian batting lineup, getting 10 overs from part-time bowlers such as Glenn Phillips and Rachin Ravindra will be a huge task.

2. Winning momentum

India enter the semi-final clash with a streak of nine victories. Under Rohit Sharma’s captaincy, the team looks confident and in rhythm ahead of the semi-final match at the Wankhede Stadium. The previous match against the Netherlands not only resulted in a substantial win for India but also saw all top-five batters among runs, setting a positive tone for the upcoming encounter with New Zealand.

3. Individual performances

One of the reasons behind India’s commanding performance in the ODI World Cup 2023 is due to individuals rising to the occasion and delivering in every match.

In the opening encounter against Australia, India found themselves at three wickets down for two runs while chasing 200. Nevertheless, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul stitched a 165-run partnership and rescued India from a precarious position to clinch the victory. In the match against New Zealand, it was Mohammed Shami who took the centre stage, producing impressive figures of 5-54 to curtail the Kiwis to 273, salvaging the situation after the Black Caps seemed on their way towards a formidable total. India will hope for another individual match-winning performance on Wednesday.

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