As India takes on New Zealand, we live in the fond hope that it won’t rain today. Well, don’t hold your breath, the Met Office has predicted a 50 percent chance of rain in Nottingham.
Too bad! Will we even have a match? Thousands of Indians have left for the UK to support their side in the World Cup. Will they get to see any cricket at all?
We don’t know – we can’t predict the weather, and by the looks of it, neither can ICC. How else can one explain them scheduling the World Cup in June and July in England, when it is more likely to rain than not here!
Regardless, let’s focus on the match. India vs. New Zealand is always a great contest, especially when the two teams play each other outside the subcontinent. This type of cloudy conditions where there is a plenty of life in the pitch and the ball seams around makes New Zealand highly competitive, and allows them to make the most of their limited talent.
India are not too bad either – They have Jasprit Bumrah, the world’s best fast bowler. And they have Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who is brilliant in these conditions. They will also want Hardik Pandya to turn a match winner with the ball in hand as he is with the bat.
The only issue for India is that their most prolific batsman Shikhar Dhawan is injured. So, they will have to decide whether to play the so-called 3-dimensional cricketer Vijay Shankar or Dinesh Karthik at no. 4. KL Rahul will take up the slot at the top of the order.
Rishabh Pant has been called as a cover for Dhawan but he will arrive only late in the day, which means he can only be considered for the next match against Pakistan this Sunday.
India: 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: 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
This game will be played on a brand-new pitch. Nobody knows how the pitch is going to play. But as said earlier, expect cloudy conditions, which is good for bowlers.
Prediction: India to beat New Zealand comfortably.