India's dominance has been such that they are topping all the tournament records. (AFP File Image)
HYDERABAD: Group-stage toppers, India, will take on fourth-placed New Zealand in the first semi-final of the ICC World Cup 2023 and much to the comfort of Indian fans the men in blue are odds-on favourites to clinch this titanic tie. When India met New Zealand in the semi-final of the 2019 World Cup (Old Trafford. Manchester), the Virat Kohli-led side faced defeat in a rain-affected match. This time the match will be played in Mumbai’s Wankhede and in Indian captain Rohit Sharma’s home ground.
To add to the thousands of home team supporters, New Zealand will also have to deal with an imperious Indian side which is yet to suffer a single defeat in the tournament. In fact, India has won every single match convincingly.
India’s dominance has been such that they are topping all the tournament records. Top run-getters in the world cup sees Kohli at #1 spot with 594 runs. Sharma is fourth on that list (503 runs). Mohammad Shami and Ravindra Jadeja have recorded the best bowling figures (in a game), 5/18 and 5/33 respectively. Kohli also has the highest batting average in the tournament (99.00).
New Zealand on the other hand will be feeling the effects of playing away from home for nearly two months now. No matter how good the hospitality, even the highly professional Kiwis will be feeling this. The last five matches New Zealand played in the tournament, they ended up losing four of them.
As long as India maintain their current form, this match should be a one-sided affair in India’s favour.