ICC World Cup 2023: Manchester in 2019 to Mumbai in 2023. After four years, India and New Zealand will square off once more in the first World Cup semifinal. Similar to 2019, India’s path to the semifinals was a smooth one, but New Zealand’s was much more erratic—yet, as usual, they managed to make it.
Given that they were the only team to challenge India in the league stage, New Zealand can feel confident despite the fact that India has easily defeated the majority of their opponents in this competition.
India had little flexibility in their playing XI composition after losing Hardik Pandya midway through the tournament, but they have looked even more deadly with this lineup than they did with Hardik. Conversely, two of New Zealand’s top bowlers are more than capable of hitting with the bat, and four of their top seven batsmen are also capable of bowling. More than anything else, the Wankhede match will pit India’s quality against New Zealand’s depth.
Due to the dew factor, Wankhede Stadium in the IPL is infamous for its chasing bias; however, in ODIs, the early start of the second innings around twilight time has meant that there is tremendous swing available in the early going of the second innings.
Pacers have taken 17 wickets at an average of 8.53 in the first ten overs of the second innings in the four World Cup matches played at this location, with a strike rate of every 13.4 deliveries (compared to just four wickets at 44.5 in the first innings). Mitchell Starc held India to 39/4 in 10.2 overs during the second innings of this year’s ODI.
First innings totals of 399/7, 382/5, 357/8, and 291/5 have skyrocketed due to bowling teams’ struggles on the pitch during the first half of the game due to the oppressive afternoon heat and humidity. It took one of the all-time great innings to chase it down in the fourth, while the first three were easily defended.