India’s third match in WC and NZ fourth match in WC.
NZ are at the top of the table and won all three matches in their WC and India is in 4th place (played less matches than any other team in WC).
In Ind VS Aus match, Shikar Dhawan got injured and it gave a big blow to Indian Fans and Indian team which ruled him out for the next two very important matches. Shikar Dhawan is an ICC tournament player where he played many match winning innings and scored big. Rohit and Dhawan are one of the best opening pair for India and played a crucial role in winning the matches in last 3 to 4 years. Loosing such a player in two key matches will be a big blow for India but with the bench strength of India, it should not affect India much.
Rahul who played good innings at 4th position in the WC will be back to opening slot (confirmed by Sanjay Bangar – Batting Coach in press conference). Now, who will bat at 4? Once again it remained as a question mark and became a discussion point. Two players will compete for 4th position – Karthik and Shankar. Some people even say bring Dhoni to 4th position but according to the team strategy in last one to two years, Dhoni at 4 will be difficult. So Karthik and Shankar will be the contenders for 4th position. It’s a big match with the team who won all matches in WC till now and also looks very strong in batting and bowling, so Karthik with all his experience should have advantage and should be the first choice than Shankar.
So, the team should remain same from last match except Karthik comes in place of Shikar Dhawan. There should not be any change in spinners as Kuldeep and Chahal played a key role in last encounter between India and NZ. They both took 17 wickets in 5 ODI’s. Shami will come into picture until unless the pitch turns out to be a fast bowler friendly.
The Trent Bridge pitch is a high scoring ground in this WC till now. But from last Monday, the reports say no sun and it was raining from Monday morning till Wednesday evening. So, the pitch is under covers and the outfield will be wet as well. This might help fast bowlers to get a swing early on and if the pitch supports fast bowlers, Shami can come in place of Kuldeep.
On the other hand, NZ also have good fast bowlers and it will be a challenge to Indian opening batsman who are little weak when ball swings in and out. Kane Williamson will be a key player to watch and will play a key role in today’s match. Along with Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor – the most senior player in the team will play a key role and one to watch.
Trent Boult and Tim Southee, the NZ fast bowlers will throw challenge to Indian Openers.
When it comes to India, Bumrah and Bhuvi should play key innings like Aus match where they tied up the batsman with no room. Hardik once again should be important not only as a batsman but also as a fifth bowler.
From Indian point of view, Rahul is the player to watch as he will open the innings today and it’s a great opportunity for him to mark his place in ODI team.
It’s a match for dominance, it’s a match between fast bowlers and best batsman in the world. It’s a match for India to make a Hat-trick win, it’s a match for NZ to retain their top position without a defeat.
Lets see – who will add two points against their name and will prove the best.
Common INDIA ..one more step towards the Trophy.