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India & New Zealand have rain threat in focus

Thursday, June 13, 2019 • Tamil Comments

Well, we won't be seeing a repeat of that warm-up game. For one, the weather's being a pest. The UK Met Office predicts at least a 50% chance of rain in Nottingham on Thursday.

Trent Bridge no longer entertains outlandish notions like an even contest between bat and ball. So maybe it's a good thing that the forecast is for grey skies. It'll add even more spectacle and spice to what Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah can already do. This World Cup has offered some tasty cricket, especially when conditions are tilted in favor of the bowlers. And both these teams have batsmen capable of standing up to such a test.

That's no big advantage to New Zealand because their opening partnership has been among the least productive since the 2015 World Cup. They rely on their middle order for most of their runs, but even there India has them beat because they have better quality hitters. Hardik Pandya and MS Dhoni are perfect to build on the typically good starts that Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli give them.

So, to even things out, let's have a grey, gloomy, non-rainy, bowler-friendly day and watch who can rise above.

The only question around the Indian team is who will come in at No. 4. Vijay Shankar was the first batsman to hit the nets. Is that enough of a hint that he'll make his World Cup debut?

India (probable): 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 KL Rahul, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 Dinesh Karthik/Vijay Shankar, 5 MS Dhoni (wk), 6 Kedar Jadhav, 7 Hardik Pandya, 8 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Yuzvendra Chahal, 11 Jasprit Bumrah

New Zealand (probable): 1 Martin Guptill, 2 Colin Munro/ Henry Nicholls, 3 Kane Williamson (capt), 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Tom Latham (wk), 6 James Neesham, 7 Mitchell Santner, 8 Colin de Grandhomme, 9 Tim Southee/Matt Henry, 10 Lockie Ferguson, 11 Trent Boult

Pitch and conditions
This game will be played on a fresh strip, one that is more centrally located and therefore helping even out the boundary distances. They'll still be short though and that's why most teams prefer chasing here. But if you truly do prefer setting a total, just know that, since July 8 2015, the average first innings score that's resulted in a win is 390. 

Kohli needs 57 runs to complete 11,000 in ODIs. And considering he'll only be playing his 222nd innings, he will be the quickest to the mark, beating Sachin Tendulkar who took 276 innings to get there.

Ross Taylor has been New Zealand's best ODI player for the past couple of years - average 79 - and he'll be ultra-crucial against India because of his record against spin: 87 runs in 101 balls and one dismissal against Chahal, 42 runs in 47 balls and no dismissals against Kuldeep

-Kumaran Kumanan

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