Virat Kohli might make two big changes in India’s Playing XI for the semi-final match against New Zealand on Tuesday at Old Trafford, New Zealand.
ICC World Cup 2019 has reached its business end with India, Australia, England, and New Zealand grabbing the top four spots and advancing to the semi-finals. India, by virtue of finishing on top of the points table will face fourth-ranked New Zealand in the first semi-final at Old Trafford, Manchester on Tuesday. India made a couple of changes to their side in their last group match against Sri Lanka and chances are they might make a couple more in the semi-final against New Zealand.
Here’s India’s Predicted XI for the first semi-final against New Zealand
If India have to go all the way then Rohit Sharma has to continue batting the same way he has been doing in this tournament. Rohit is currently the top-scorer of this World Cup with 647 runs to his name along with 5 hundreds – the most by any player in a single edition of the mega event. India will bank on Rohit for a good start against the likes of Trent Boult and Matt Henry.
Started as India’s No. 4 and got back to his preferred opening position after Shikhar Dhawan was ruled out, KL Rahul has blown hot and cold in this tournament so far. Rahul’s place was in danger in India’s last match Sri Lanka after the opener got out cheaply in the previous two games. But the Karnataka lad made roaring comeback by slamming his maiden World Cup ton against Sri Lanka.
5 consecutive fifties but no hundreds, less than 450 runs – Virat Kohli has had a quiet World Cup so far by his lofty standards. But the Indian captain has managed string some impact innings in the tournament and keeping his track record on big occasions in mind, a big score from Kohli’s bat in the semi-final against New Zealand cannot be ruled out.
Pant is yet to get his act together in the World Cup. With scores of 4, 48 and 32 in the three opportunities he has got so far, Pant has threatened but failed to make it count. But considering the young left-hander’s ability to win matches, he is certain to slot in at No. 4
Dhoni, who turned 38 on Sunday, will look to celebrate his birthday by returning back to form with a power-packed innings in the semi-final. Dhoni has received a lot of flak in the past week or so for his approach. The former India captain did look in good rhythm against Bangladesh, scoring 35 off 33 balls but is still far from his best.
Pandya did not bat in India’s last match against Sri Lanka and was out for a duck against Bangladesh but the all-rounder is crucial member of the Indian side, providing the much-needed balance. He has also picked up 9 wickets in the tournament so far.
Jadeja came in late but immediately made an impact in the last game against Sri Lanka. Playing is first match of the World Cup, Jadeja struck in his first over and finished with impressive figures of 1 for 40. With the pitches going slower and slower, Jadeja’s left-arm spin can be a lethal weapon for India in the knockout stages. Not to forget the depth he provides to India’s lower middle order.
Wickets has deserted him in this World Cup but Kuldeep Yadav can be Kohl’s main weapon against a New Zealand side which doesn’t play wrist spin that convincingly. To be fair to Kuldeep, he did bowl well even against Sri Lanka but his figures of 1 for 58 do not do justice to his performance.
14 wickets in 4 matches, it’s hard to look beyond Mohammed Shami when you sit to select your XI. The only problem has been his death bowling and perhaps that’s why Bhuvneshwar Kumar was given a go against Sri Lanka but his modest returns – 1 for 72 – might force Kohli to bring Shami back in the side, mainly because of his abilities.
Chahal had a slight niggle in India’s last game against Sri Lanka and was rightly rested. He is certain to get his spot back in the semi-final against New Zealand. He has been the most successful spinner in this World Cup along with South Africa’s Imran Khan. Both the leggies have picked up 11 wickets in the tournament so far.
The World’s No. 1 bowler has been Kohli’s go-to man both with the new and old ball. He is expected to lead India’s bowling attack against the likes of Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor.
Source: Hindustan Times