World Cup 2019, India vs New Zealand: India's middle order is a case unsolved, says Gourav Pilania

With so much firepower in India's top 3, the middle order still remains vulnerable and a case unsolved, according to fan Gourav Pilania.

Ind vs NZ

India will meet New Zealand in the first semifinal of the ICC Cricket World Cup on Tuesday.   -  Getty Images

Win the toss, bat first and win the game - this particular strategy has paid off rich dividends in 2019 Cricket World Cup.

India takes on New Zealand tomorrow in the first semifinal of 2019 World Cup which sets up to be an exciting affair of cricket.

The clash between Men in Blue and the Black Caps shares eerie similarities with 2008 U-19 World Cup semifinal. During the U-19 World Cup semifinal, India faced New Zealand, with both teams being spearheaded by Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson respectively.

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Both teams have played each other eight times in the history of World Cup with New Zealand coming out victorious four times. India won on three occasions, and one match got abandoned which happened in the ongoing World Cup.

Chase only if you can ft. Kane Williamson and Rohit Sharma

Chasing in 2019 World Cup has proved to be a tough nut to crack. In the 45 matches held, teams chasing have only been successful 14 times. Batting first has rewarded teams on 27 occasions while four matches were abandoned due to rain.

Kane Williamson has led New Zealand by example like always and been rock solid in World Cup 2019. For the major part of the World Cup, the Kiwis have been dependent on Kane Williamson. The captain has played 71 ODI innings since the 2015 World Cup. In 44 of them, he has had to bat in the first five overs.

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As far as India is concerned, Rohit Sharma's juggernaut has rolled over the opponents time and again. He brought up his fifth century of the campaign against Sri Lanka in the last group stage match of this World Cup.

Rohit Sharma is having a phenomenal 2019 as he has left behind Indian skipper Kohli in terms of centuries hit in the year. Rohit sits pretty on top with nine centuries while Kohli has hit six centuries in 2019.

With so much firepower in India's top 3, the middle order still remains vulnerable and a case unsolved. The frailties are visible as New Zealand dismantled India in the warm-up game as the Indian team found itself on 39 for 4. Earlier in the year in January, New Zealand bowled India out for a mere 92 in Hamilton.

Trent Boult remains India's biggest worry and he can cause a 'bolt in the blue'.

India vs New Zealand at World Cups

1975: The first meeting for these two in a World Cup. New Zealand went on to defeat India by 4 wickets. Glenn Turner scored an unbeaten 114 while Abid Ali scored 70 and took a couple of wickets.

1979: A cakewalk for The Kiwis. India was defeated by New Zealand convincingly by 8 wickets. New Zealand batsman Bruce Edgar scored 84-not out.

1987: First taste of victory for India in a World Cup fixture. India defeated New Zealand by 16 runs. India put 250 on board while batting first. Navjot Singh Sidhu top scored with 75 runs.

1987: Second meeting in the same World Cup. Another victory for India as it defeated New Zealand by 9 wickets. Sunil Gavaskar made 103-not out while Chetan Sharma claimed a hat-trick with figures of 3/51.

1992: New Zealand eclipses India in head-to-head. The Kiwis defeated India by 4 wickets. Mark Greatbatch scored a match-winning 73 off 77. For India, it was the young Sachin Tendulkar who top-scored with 84 runs.

1999: New Zealand leaves dark stain on India’s forgettable World Cup campaign as it went on to defeat India by 5 wickets. Roger Twose hit an unbeaten 60 and got the Man of the Match award.

2003: Zaheer Khan’s 4/42 leaves the Kiwis dry as they bundled out for a mere 146. Rahul Dravid and Mohammad Kaif made 53 and 68 not-out each as India won by 7 wickets.

2019: Match got abandoned as rain in Nottingham did not allow any cricket to happen. The teams got one point each, and eventually both progressed to the semis.

 

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Gourav Pilania   -  Special arrangement

 

Gourav is a writer and cricket enthusiast based in Gurgaon, India.

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