ICC World Cup: India to take on New Zealand in Dharamsala
In the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, India will take on New Zealand at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamsala on Sunday.
The match will start at 2 pm. India and New Zealand are the only two teams in the ongoing ICC World Cup with unbeatable records. Both sides have won all their four matches. India will be coming into the match with three consecutive wins against Australia, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, and Men in Blue will look forward to continue their winning streak.
On the other hand, New Zealand also remains unbeaten in the tournament, with winning their last match against Afghanistan. Currently, New Zealand tops the points table following India on the second spot. India and New Zealand have played 116 ODIs against each other, with India winning 58, New Zealand winning 50, one match tied, and seven matches ending in no result.
An aerial view of the Dhauladhar mountain range wrapping Dharamsala in a protective embrace makes for quite the visual experience. With its gorgeously jagged hills interspersed by silent valleys, the topography of this sleepy, holiday destination tells its own story. It is also the tale of this World Cup as viewed from the vantage occupied by India and New Zealand with the fortunes of those below them swinging wildly.
For these two unbeaten sides, the journey in this competition has mostly been one of symmetrical straight lines bar the odd murmur. Players from these two sides occupy three of the top-four positions on the run charts as well as each of the top-three slots on the wickets list^. Both teams have centurions in their top-three, fast bowlers with outstanding PowerPlay records, left-arm spinners to squeeze the middle-overs and a key player out with injury.
Which brings us to the points of difference. In Trent Boult, New Zealand’s pace attack has a left-arm edge to it, one that recent history would point to being a pain point for India’s right-heavy top-order. Few bowling units can control an Indian onslaught in full flow but with Boult and Matt Henry in their ranks, New Zealand would appear to possess the necessary counter-force. And if the hills could conspire and roll in helpful conditions, the Black Caps may just be best placed to exploit them as they did four years ago. Hindsight might cast Sunday’s fixture to be just as pivotal, especially for New Zealand who have a bunch of tough fixtures to follow. But at the moment, nothing feels so urgent, so drastic, as everything did in Manchester.
As for the challenge for New Zealand, it could well come a little later in the innings. For four straight games, India’s middle-overs bowling [they have the lowest ER between overs 11-40] has been on point, dragging back opposition even after fast starts. That combined with Rohit Sharma’s captaincy, goading opposition to consider risk-filled avenues of run scoring have made for nuanced viewing. Whether Tom Latham & Co. can take those risks against Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja and sweep India’s gameplan off-track could very well determine whether New Zealand can hold on to their streak in this tournament as well as maintain their 20-year stranglehold over India in ICC competitions.
India Squad: Rohit Sharma(c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul(w), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami
New Zealand Squad: Devon Conway, Will Young, Rachin Ravindra, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Latham(w/c), Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, James Neesham