Kohli’s Men Eye Third CWC 19 Win

The Men in Blue have got their CWC 19 campaign moving well on track as they fly to Nottingham with four valuable points in their bag. In the two matches played by Team India, we have seen a confident unit of players excelling in all departments of the game.

However, the injury update of opener Shikhar Dhawan brings bad news for the Indian dressing room. The Virat Kohli-led team’s next clash is against a potent New Zealand side that has managed to get maximum points from the three games they have played in the tournament so far. Credit for their wins largely goes to their pace attack. That Lockie Ferguson, Matthew Henry and James Neesham are among the top-five wicket-takers of CWC 19 so far is a testament of their impact for the Kiwis.

The contest at Trent Bridge will be an entertaining one given that this game would lead to the first defeat for either teams. The Trent Bridge has played host to three games in this edition of the World Cup. While the first game saw a Pakistan debacle, the following two games have certainly been fancied by the batsmen.

With ten 50 or more run scores in the three games at this venue, Indian batsmen will be keen to free their arms on Thursday. However, New Zealand will rely heavily on their bowlers to impede their rhythm. The only thing robbing us of this inviting fixture in hand is the weather forecast in Nottingham that suggests rains could play a role.

Team Form:

Virat Kohli and his troops have been mighty impressive in the fashion in which they’ve pulled off two triumphs. However, the absence of an on-song Dhawan will be felt in the top order, especially since he scored a sublime ton in the previous game against the Aussies. The direct implication of this will be KL Rahul opening the innings with Rohit Sharma. The team management will have a decision to make between the options - Dinesh Karthik and Vijay Shankar.

The bowling department has been proficient in their part as the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Yuzvendra Chahal have been contributing with the regular wickets – 16 scalps among the three. India will also go in with a mental edge given they had beaten the Blackcaps 4-1 in their own backyard.

Kane Williamson’s team has had success thus far, but a fair assessment would suggest that India will pose a bigger threat than any of its past opponents. But the Kiwi unit has lots of promise and pace in their ranks.

Their batsmen may not be on the top of the CWC 19 charts, but with Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor and Williamson getting the job done for them, the Blackcaps have come through fine. Moreover, the Kiwis are a menace with the swinging ball. Trent Boult, Lockie and Henry will look to make early damage to the Indian line-up.

Key Battle:

Rohit Sharma vs Trent Boult

The Hitman will be open India’s batting tomorrow without his customary partner - Dhawan. But with a century in India’s opening game and a fifty to follow, Rohit will back himself at the top. Although, the Trent threat will be looming large on the Men in Blue as he will be eager to add to his wickets’ tally. Especially with the new ball, Rohit will have to be wary of the swing the left-hander can produce. The contest between the two will be an interesting one right from the outset of the innings.

The match between India and New Zealand will start at 3 PM IST at Trent Bridge, Nottingham.