Tournament favourites India have managed to storm into the semi-finals of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 after finishing the league stage as table toppers. Except England, India clinched victory against all their opponents.
However, India are set to meet a team in the semi-finals against whom their league match was abandoned because of a heavy downpour.
The two teams will meet at the Old Trafford, Manchester in the first semi-final on Tuesday. Although the Virat Kohli led side will undoubtedly start as favourites to win the semi-final clash, it is to be noted that it was the same Kiwi team which had beaten India in the warm-up match prior to the World Cup.
The Black Caps will come into this match on the back of a three-match losing streak. On the other hand, India have managed to win their previous couple of matches after a stutter against England.
Here are two reasons why India will win this clash:
1- New Zealand’s slump in form
The Black Caps, who had a brilliant start to their tournament, suddenly experienced a slump in their performances. Notably, they have not been able to register a win against quality sides like England and Australia and even managed to go past unpredictable Pakistan.
Their place in the semi-finals was only confirmed because of the better run rate they managed to achieve throughout the course of the tournament.
Although it would be a new day and a new game against India, it would be difficult for even professional sportsmen to forget three thrashings in less than 10 days.
Their records in the semis make it worse for them. In their last seven semi-final appearances, they have only managed to win one.
2- India’s in-form top order and efficient bowling unit
India’s top order has been in the form of their life. Rohit, the leading run scorer of the tournament, alone has scored five centuries. KL Rahul has one. Although Virat is yet to score a hundred, he has five fifty-plus scores in the tournament.
If that was not intimidating enough, India’s bowlers have been impressive too. Mohammed Shami has been amidst the wickets and so has been Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Add Jasprit Bumrah, the world’s top-ranked One Day bowler to that. If you play pace well, then there is the duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal.
The Men in Blue look a well-balanced side and their only cause of concern would be their middle order form but that would only come into the picture if the Kiwi bowlers manage to go past the mighty Indian top three.