The semi-final clash is set for Wednesday, 15th November at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium.
The first semi-final of the tournament presents a thrilling encounter between India and New Zealand, a rematch of the 2019 semi-final held at Old Trafford, Manchester.
The Kiwis edged out India in a thrilling contest last time, despite a valiant fightback from Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni. This time, India, having won all nine games, enters the semi-final with an unblemished record, barely challenged en route to the knockout stages.
India, in pursuit of their first major tournament victory in 12 years, will be playing at the same venue where they clinched their last Cricket World Cup in 2011. On the other hand, New Zealand, often the bridesmaids in white-ball cricket, will be looking to go one step further this time, with many players from their 2015, 2019, and 2021 final squads still in the mix.
Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishan Kishan, Prasidh Krishna, Suryakumar Yadav.
New Zealand’s Squad:
Kane Williamson (c), Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitch Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Will Young.
Semi-Final 1: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
Known as a cricketing hub, Wankhede Stadium was the host for the final of the Men’s Cricket World Cup when it was last held in India in 2011. The unique red-soil pitch is expected to play a significant role.
Players to Watch
India – Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma’s exceptional form at the top of the order has been instrumental in setting the pace for India throughout the tournament. His 503 runs, scored at a strike rate of 121.49, have eased the pressure on the middle order. New Zealand will need to dismiss him early to stand a chance against the hosts.
New Zealand – Rachin Ravindra
Rachin Ravindra, the breakout star of this World Cup, has been a revelation for New Zealand with his exceptional batting. He has scored 565 runs in nine innings, only behind Quinton de Kock and Virat Kohli. If Ravindra fires against his parents’ home country, New Zealand could be in with a big chance.
India – Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah, India’s bowling ace, has been consistently exceptional throughout the tournament. His Powerplay figures are impressive, and his ability to restrict New Zealand’s openers could be crucial. His tournament stats are outstanding – 17 wickets from nine matches at an average of 15.64 and an economy of 3.65.
New Zealand – Tim Southee
With Matt Henry’s absence, the onus will be on Tim Southee to step up for New Zealand. Southee’s experience will be vital in providing support for Trent Boult and protecting Lockie Ferguson during the middle overs. If Southee leaks runs, India could gain a significant advantage even before they target New Zealand’s all-rounders.