2019 World Cup: formidable India on the road from New Zealand to the second consecutive final

MUMBAI: India's semifinal calculations were thwarted by South Africa's victory over Australia in Saturday's final round robin match, but they will not be so unhappy with New Zealand's World Cup fixture for the first time since Tuesday 2003..


Last month's encounter on the Trent Bridge between India and New Zealand was abandoned without a ball being thrown and it seemed that the only chance for the two sides to meet in the tournament would be the July 14 final at Lord's.

But the exciting victory of 10 South African races in a high-scoring game in Manchester, after India's previous victory over Sri Lanka, took virat Kohli The men climbed to the top of the standings and prepared a clash against the black caps in fourth place.

While Kane Williamson The team will probably be relieved to have avoided the favorites before the tournament and host England, the 2015 finalists face a no less formidable opponent in India.

The two-time champions won their last World Cup meeting against New Zealand at Centurion in 2003, but what is more relevant, they are the only team that has been defeated only once in nine matches in the four-year show this year.

New Zealand also lost a series of ODI 4-1 against the Indians at home earlier this year despite the fact that tourists rest fast in bowling. Jasprit Bumrah for the whole tour and Captain Kohli in the last two games.

The Black Caps were undefeated in their first six matches in the World Cup, but after finishing the group stage with losses against Pakistan, Australia and England, it was only their net rate of races that earned them a place in the semifinals.

They will have to start again in their eighth semifinal if they want to have another chance to win the inaugural World Cup crown.

Williamson will be his main man with the bat, but bowling will need a significant improvement to control India's batting lineup with the first game. Rohit Sharma having become the first player to break five centuries in a single World Cup.

New Zealand hopes that Lockie Ferguson has returned from a thigh hook to provide the ball to the fireworks and is his response to the threat posed by Bumrah, the highest ranked bowler in the world.

They would also need enthusiastic Trent Boult to put him ahead at Old Trafford and New Zealand will have to attack early to prevent Rohit from joining his 647-race, tournament-leading account.

The bookmakers clearly believe that they will not and they have India 5/2-on to win in Manchester on Tuesday and 7/4 favorites to lift the trophy.