ICC World Cup 2019: Match 18, India vs New Zealand– Match Prediction
India vs New Zealand promises to be a blockbuster of a contest. Both teams are set to face each other at Trent Bridge on Thursday.
India and New Zealand are the only teams in this world cup that still has 100% win record. New Zealand are on top of their game since the start. The Kiwis won the matches against Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Interestingly, India will be the fourth Asian team that New Zealand face in as many games.
On the other hand, India are also looking in good form. The Men in Blue already defeated heavy weights South Africa and Australia in their first two matches. With their performances, they are living up to the hype of favorites tag. However, when both these sides met in a warm up game prior to this tournament, New Zealand gained the upper hand.
The black caps displayed classical swing bowling against Indian batting. They made the most of it and won the game comfortably. However, Trent Bridge has been a batting paradise traditionally and should continue to be the same unless rain gods decide to interrupt.
The major blow for India ahead of this clash is the absence of Shikhar Dhawan. The south paw was adjudged Man of the match against Australia on Sunday. He scored a valiant hundred and was a key figure in Indian batting lineup.
In his absence, KL Rahul will open the innings alongside Rohit Sharma on Thursday. But with KL Rahul up the order, the vacant middle order position can be taken by either Dinesh Karthik or Vijay Shankar. On the other hand, New Zealand will have the complete squad at their disposal to choose from.
India and New Zealand had strong starts to their world cup campaigns. They are only two sides in the tournament so far to not get defeated. But Thursday will see one of the teams lose their winning streak.
New Zealand have one of the best bowling lineups in the world. But the key battle will be New Zealand seamers against Indian openers in the first spell. If the conditions are overcast and ball is swinging, New Zealand will have slight advantage if they bowl first.
But if normal weather persists, even on a green top, Indian batsmen can grind runs and put New Zealand on pressure. This match is too close to call due to Dhawan’s injury. But even in his absence, India should be able to win by a narrow margin.
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