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

India vs New Zealand, ICC World Cup 2023 semi-finals: The world of cricket is ready for another action-packed thriller as India again faces New Zealand in a World Cup knockout match. You don’t need to be a cricket pundit to say that watching India vs New Zealand knockout matches is not for the faint-hearted. More than a billion fans remember Martin Guptill’s amazing throw which dismissed MS Dhoni and dashed India’s chances to win the 2019 World Cup semi-finals. India vs New Zealand, ICC World Cup 2023 semi-final is scheduled at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai- the stadium where India conquered the world in 2011.

Keeping all things constant, one thing that will play a crucial role in deciding the first World Cup 2023 finalist will be the toss. The pitch conditions of Wankhede offer a clear edge to the side which chooses to bat first while chasing seems to be tricky under lights. In ICC World Cup 2023, the average score while batting first on the pitch of Wankhede is 357, while it is considerably less at 188 while chasing a target.

Notably, this chasing average is also a little bit inflated due to the terrific innings played by Australia’s Glenn Maxwell against Afghanistan, where the batter scored a double century to eliminate Afghanistan from the World Cup 2023. Even the best cricketers say that Glenn Maxwell’s innings that day were a once-in-a-lifetime innings.

Why batting first is an advantage at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai?

To answer the question in one line- the pacers get better swing with a new ball under lights. In the ICC World Cup 2023, the chasing team faced difficulties at Wankhede Stadium as they lost wickets in the first powerplay. The theory is also corroborated by the team’s average score after the first powerplay, which is 52/1 in the first innings and 42/4 for the chasing team.

If Rohit Sharma manages to win the toss, choosing to bat first seems to be a natural choice, and holding their ground for the first 15 overs will be the key. After 15-17 overs, the ball is not new anymore and the batters (if they keep their wicket) will be more acclimatized to the pitch conditions.

What if India loses the toss?

In case India loses the toss and is forced to field against in-form New Zealand batters, then the pacers will have to showcase their magic and clinch some wickets in the first powerplay to restrict New Zealand to a score below 300 runs, and India’s top order must brace from some deadly bouncers from Trent Boult and Matt Henry.


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Updated: 13 Nov 2023, 04:34 PM IST

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