When Martin Guptill ran MS Dhoni out that fateful day in Manchester, the New Zealand player not only ended India’s campaign at the 2019 World Cup, but also ensured Dhoni’s final match in India colours would end in defeat.
On Wednesday at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium, India will get the chance to avenge their 2019 World Cup defeat when they take on New Zealand in the semi-final of the 2023 ICC Men’s ODI World Cup.
India have been one of the most consistent teams in recent World Cup history reaching the semi-finals for four straight editions.
New Zealand have been even more consistent. The Kiwis have made it to five straight semi-finals, even reaching the final in the last two editions.
Kane Williamson’s side have also gotten the better of India in two of their previous three meetings in ICC tournaments including the 2021 World Test Championship Final.
Riding on Mohammed Shami’s five-wicket haul and Virat Kohli’s 95, India had snapped New Zealand’s four-match winning run when the two sides met in the league stage in Dharamsala. The Kiwis went on to lose thrice more and nearly failed to make it to the last-four.
India, the only unbeaten side left in the tournament, go into Wednesday’s semi-final as favourites. However, against a seasoned New Zealand side which somehow knows how to beat the odds, India will need to bring out their A game once again.
Conditions and Pitch Report
The Wankhede stadium has been a batter’s paradise this World Cup. Both India and New Zealand would love to bat first when the conditions are hot and humid. In three of the four World Cup matches in Mumbai, the team batting first posted 350+ runs on their way to comfortable wins.
In their only match in Mumbai, India posted a mammoth target of 357/8 before skittling Sri Lanka out for just 55.
The pitch at the Wankhede has also suited pacers in this World Cup with pacers taking a whopping 47 wickets with only 11 wickets being taken by spinners. Of those 47 wickets, 30 have been taken in the second innings.
Given how the conditions have favoured teams who bat first, both Rohit Sharma and Kane Williamson will likely opt to bat first should they win the toss.
India: Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli hold the key to India’s success on Wednesday. One of the two has been instrumental in all of India’s wins in the tournament barring the first match against Australia.
Should India lose the toss and bat second, Sharma and Kohli’s experience chasing will be critical for India’s chances.
New Zealand: Rachin Ravindra has been the find of the tournament. The youngster announced himself in the opening match with a stunning hundred and has plundered 565 runs so far. Only Kohli and South Africa’s Quinton de Kock have scored more runs than Ravindra while only De Kock, with four centuries, has scored more centuries than Ravindra’s three.
Last Five Meetings
October 22, 2023: Dharamsala – India won by four wickets
January 24, 2023: Indore – India won by 90 runs
January 21, 2023: Raipur – India won by eight wickets
January 18, 2023: Hyderabad – India won by 12 runs
November 30, 2022: Christchurch – No Result
Overall in World Cup
India: 4 wins
New Zealand: 5 wins
No Result: 1 match