IND vs NZ, 1st Semi-Final Preview: Unfinished business vs ghosts of 2019

After the 45 league matches, the action will finally move into the knockout stages in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 as India and New Zealand will take on each other in the first semi-final on Wednesday, November 15 at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. India have been on a roll in the tournament so far. The hosts have stamped their authority over all the oppositions they have faced having been on a nine-match winning streak.

The Men in Blue finished on the top of the points table having won all of their league matches. On the other hand, New Zealand won their last league game against Sri Lanka to ensure their semi-final qualification. The Kiwis started their campaign with four back-to-back wins; however, they went astray after a loss against India in their fifth game. It marked the start of a four-match losing streak.

Having finally sealed their spot in the semis, the Kiwis will come into the fixture high on confidence as they have had an upper hand over India in World Cup history. Out of the nine matches played in the tournament, New Zealand have beaten India five times. Notably, the Kane Williamson-led side beat India in the semi-final of the 2019 World Cup. Hence, they will be eager to replicate their success over India again.

Meanwhile, India will be under pressure to break their knockout jinx that’s been continuing since 2014. Notably, the Men in Blue have failed to win an ICC trophy despite qualifying for the knockouts of every tournament barring the 2021 T20 World Cup. Hence, captain Rohit Sharma will be desperate to finally end the jinx and get one step closer to winning the trophy.

Pitch Report

In the last five matches played at the venue, three have been won by the teams first. The average first innings score has been 323 while the highest target chased is 292 by Australia vs Afghanistan in the last game. The captain winning the toss will look to bat first and make the most of the good batting conditions. Furthermore, the ball moves a lot under light making life tough to bat with the new ball.

Probable Playing XI