All roads lead to Nottingham today. In Match No 18 of ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, a Shikhar Dhawan-less Indian team will be put through a stern test by a feisty New Zealand bowling unit prepared to pose some tough questions on Thursday, in a much-anticipated World Cup clash.

Be that as it may, that will be a possibility only if the climate does not play spoilsport at Trent Bridge Stadium in Nottingham. In this exciting contest, the Black Caps’ quality pacers assault could make things hard for a different opening pair of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul.

The New Zealand Cricket Team have had a decent record against India at International Cricket Council (ICC) events. Kane Williamson’s men would be more than resolved to win their fourth successive match of the competition and achieve the highest point on the CWC points table. For India, Rahul has been promoted to the top of the order to bring Vijay Shankar and Dinesh Karthik in the retribution for the Number 4 space.

Being compelled to tinker with a fruitful opening mix that has in total scored 4,681 runs, is surely a bit agitating.

Mohammed Shami may get an opportunity because of overcast conditions which are sure to assist the pacers.

The circumstances will need captain Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri to come up with a different plan. It couldn’t have been more of the perfect time to go for such a rejig, given that the competition is still in its second week and one of the bounciest. Yet, a great batting track is on offer at Trent Bridge.

This probably won’t be the best of conditions to open the batting. However, the gifted Rahul will be resolved to make the most of this chance. He would have an extraordinary reference point in the dynamic Rohit Sharma, at the opposite end of the 22 yards who have played caution but has been so effective.

The way where Rohit Sharma has changed his game as dictated by conditions has been more than excellent. For a stroke player like him, to transform his game as per the conditions is commendable.

A lot will depend upon how Rohit and Rahul will face off the new ball. A good opening combination will shield the middle order and prevent the Indian batting to collapse as it did against the Kiwi bowlers in the Warm-up Match.

However, all of this will be only be possible if only the weather gods allow for a full game – something that cricket lovers will be hoping for.

The match is scheduled to begin from 3:00 pm onwards live from the Trent Bridge Stadium, Nottingham.

Squads:

India: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav, Vijay Shankar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, Shikhar Dhawan

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (c), Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Tom Blundell (wk).