India vs. New Zealand
|Date & Time||Thursday June 13, 2019, 5:30 AM (EDT)|
India 1.50 New Zealand 2.75
India will face New Zealand on Thursday with both teams boasting a 100% record so far at the World Cup. India have claimed victories over South Africa and Australia whilst New Zealand have beaten Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
It’s fair to say that New Zealand have had the easier start of the two teams however the manner in which they have claimed their victories has been impressive. They thrashed Sri Lanka by ten wickets in their opening match before seeing off the resilient Bangladesh with just 17 balls remaining. They then cruised past Afghanistan the secure maximum points from their first three matches.
India have faced much tougher opposition but have still come away with four points from a possible four. They beat South Africa by six wickets in their opening match and then defeated Australia by 36 runs at The Oval to ensure their winning start at this year’s World Cup.
India’s batsmen look to be in supreme form. Rohit Sharma hit an unbeaten 122 against South Africa and then followed that up with a half century against Australia. It was then Shikhar Dhawan’s turn for a century as he scored 117 from 109 balls against Australia with some sublime strokes. Captain Virat Kohli also impressed in that much with a classy 82 runs from 77 balls.
India's bowling has also been brilliant. India have taken wickets at vital points in their opening two matches and been extremely disciplined along the way. Against Australia, Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar did an excellent job of taming the Aussie’s run chase. Bumrah finished with figures of 3/61 and Kumar claimed 3/50. Yuzvendra Chahal was the star against South Africa with figures of 4/51.
New Zealand have also been very impressive with both bat and ball. In Lockie Ferguson (8), Matt Henry (7) and Jimmy Neesham (6), they have three of the tournament’s leading wicket takers. Neesham’s 5/31 against Afghanistan is the best figures of any bowler at the World Cup so far. If they are all firing on Thursday, India’s batsmen will have to be on top form.
Martin Guptill’s 148.48 is the highest strike rate of any batsmen so far. He smashed 73 from 51 against Sri Lanka as they cruised to victory without losing a wicket. Ross Taylor is arguably in the form of his life and the 35-year-old has 120 runs from his three innings, including an imperious 82 against Bangladesh. Kane Williamson’s 79 not-out against Afghanistan will also have the Indians worried.
Both New Zealand and India will be extremely satisfied with their respective World Cup starts however the Kiwis are yet to face one of the top sides. India will be a completely different test to any team New Zealand has faced so far and I see the Indian’s strength in depth being too much for the Kiwis to handle.