Mumbai: New Zealand looked like the better team in the beginning of the tournament with an unbeaten run like India’s. They had also thrashed India in one of the warm-up games ahead of the World Cup ODIs.
Now, the teams meet again in the first semi final clash of the tournament, after their first meeting in the round robin stage was destroyed by the rain. As strong as the Indian team are in the tournaments, the kiwis pose a serious threat to the Men in Blue’s final hopes.
Here are the top 5 black-cap players who could stand between India and the world cup-
The Kiwi skipper has been the key factor in New Zealand’s success at the world cup. When Williamson has faced issues in form, so has the entire team. However the skipper has still managed to keep up a batting average of over 90 throughout his run. After one of the Kiwi openers are dismissed early, as seen in every match so far, Williamson faces the New ball nearly each game.
Kane is also not new to Indian bowlers thanks to his stint in the IPL. He will be biggest thorn India will face.
Perhaps, New Zealand’s best all-rounder, Neesham has been one of the most important Kiwi players in both innings through the various games. Apart from scoring 251 runs so far, Neesham has also bagged 11 wickets.
Often throwing the attack back at the bowler, Neesham has matured his style of batting with every game and has been improving considerably, as evident by his 97 not out against Pakistan.
No surprises here! Boult is the only player other than Shami who has taken a hat-trick in the tournament. Even otherwise, Boult’s statistics speak for themselves as the Kiwi has taken wickets generously in the tournament so far. Boult’s in-swinging deliveries pose great threats to Indian openers Rahul and Rohit Sharma.
In the last 12 matches against India, Boult has taken 22 wickets to his name, including taking a figure of 5/21 in one match.
With 17 wickets in seven innings, Ferguson is the third-highest wicket taker of the tournament. Being a consistent threat, Ferguson has had at least one wicket to his name in every game he has played so far in the tournament. The bowler is now back in the team after an injury, and will provide a challenge to Indian batters.
With the most playing experience in the squad, Ross Taylor has scored a couple of fifties in the tournament, and is capable of making towering partnerships with Kane Williamson. Taylor scored 71 against India in the warm up game, when the Kiwis beat India by six wickets.