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India vs. New Zealand: The unstoppable force and the object that changes shape

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Large-scale: High stakes

The unstoppable force comes first. The fact that India is winning the World Cup is unrelated to the reality that they are experiencing the World Cup of their dreams. That’s only an outcome of their preparation for the competition. They needed more when 2019 was over. Thus, they set out on a mission, attempting up to 50 distinct players over the course of four years and 66 games. Six months after the grand finale, they knew exactly who they wanted and were concentrating on honing their craft. They selected all of their XIs from a set of 24 for the 15 ODIs that took place between March and October of 2023.

Because the selected ones received all the assistance they required to reach their greatest potential, Suryakumar Yadav at last appears to be a fit on the ODI cricket team. India were performing much better off the field. This campaign’s success—which it has already proven to be—was forged in the training sessions, doctor’s offices, and gyms where athletes like Jasprit Bumrah, KL Rahul, and Shreyas Iyer were able to recover from injuries without ever having to worry that their bodies would fail them again if they overexerted themselves.

When asked about the absence of ICC trophies since 2013, Rohit Sharma and his predecessor Virat Kohli have frequently cited a track record of consistent performance. The progress this team has made—the freedom they bat with, the discipline they bowl with, the faith they have in their technique and themselves, the joy they have spread—feel historic, whether or not the drought ends in a week.

And now for the immobile shape-shifter. New Zealand evolved into the winning team. The opener they bought in the run-up to the World Cup has to warm the bench since Rachin Ravindra started amassing mountains of runs in the top order. Glenn Phillips has become almost an all-rounder thanks to their transformation; during this tournament, he has bowled twice as many overs as he had in his ODI career. They have addressed important staff injuries. The one after they scored 401 against Pakistan, or the close-run defeat against Australia, didn’t derail them. They show up. They exert every effort. After that, they accept whatever has happened. This explains why they perform so well in games of big stakes, such as the one played on July 14, 2019.

It will start off cagey. Every team is attempting, if not to outlast the opposition, then at least to avoid making the same error twice. When it comes to staying in the game long enough to find an opening to break through, New Zealand is a master at it.

The man who makes India invincible is Jasprit Bumrah. They were a disaster without him at the T20 World Cup the previous year. Despite a major batting error, they hammered the team who had thrown them out in Australia with him. In the first ten overs, 175 of his 228 deliveries—nearly 80%—are dots. He always returns in the middle overs because, if he can get a wicket at that point, a new batsman will have to contend with the possibility of making those vital runs quickly against Bumrah, who really does come to life at the end of the game with his yorkers and slower balls.

Bowling under the lights will be New Zealand’s greatest chance of winning. After sundown in Mumbai, the new ball has moved substantially, and the only way to destroy an opposition, especially one with so many safety nets, is to take early wickets. Despite the fact that Trent Boult hasn’t always had the best circumstances at this World Cup, he will undoubtedly seize the chance to target Rohit, Kohli, Shreyas, and Rahul’s stumps and pads. He will also be motivated by a strong sense of unfulfilled business, even if he must bowl in the heat.

Neither New Zealand nor India will try to rearrange their packs. Black Caps coach Gary Stead told Sky Sport NZ that Lockie Ferguson has been dealing with an achilles issue throughout the competition, but he also mentioned that the fast bowler should be fit to play in the semi-final. Williamson verified that every member of their squad was healthy and ready to play the night before the match.

Since their fifth league match, which took place in Dharamsala against New Zealand, India has been using the same starting lineup.

Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, 4 Shreyas Iyer, 5 KL Rahul (wk), 6 Suryakumar Yadav, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Mohammed Shami, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Jasprit Bumrah, 11 Mohammed Siraj are the probable players for India.

Devon Conway, 2 Rachin Ravindra, 3 Kane Williamson (capt), 4 Daryl Mitchell, and 5 Tom Latham (wk) are the probable players for New Zealand. 6 Phillips Glenn, Seven Trent Boult, Eight Mitchell Santner, Nine Tim Southee, Ten Lockie Ferguson, and Eleven Mark Chapman

Pitch and circumstances

At Wankhede Stadium, it’s been enjoyable to bat throughout the opening 20 overs of the chase and then to bat again. It is at this interim period that the quicks have caused havoc. There is a backup day for the semi-final in case the weather isn’t ideal.

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