The first semifinal of the ongoing ICC World Cup 2019 will see India go up against the 2015 runners-up New Zealand on July 9 (Tuesday) at the Old Trafford in Manchester. The group match between these two teams was a washout with India and New Zealand sharing a point each. A few spells of showers is on the cards once again at the Old Trafford which can put the game in jeopardy.
India-New Zealand game on jeopardy?
India have come to the semifinals as one of the dominant sides. They have lost only one match against England and won seven to top the group stage. Rohit Sharma has led the batting with five centuries while KL Rahul and skipper Virat Kohli have made significant contributions with the bat. The bowling led by Jasprit Bumrah has been ever-reliable throughout the World Cup. But the management will have to make tough choices with their bowling unit for Tuesday’s match.
On the other hand, New Zealand have slipped up after winning the first five matches of the competition. They have lost three consecutive games and made it to the top-four on the virtue of better run-rate than Pakistan. New Zealand will hope for a strong performance from their opener Martin Guptill, who hasn’t been able to put up a significant score ever since his team’s opening game against Sri Lanka.
Meanwhile, there are chances of rain playing a spoilsport at the Old Trafford on Tuesday. If it is a complete washout, ICC has kept a reserve day on the next day for the match. Unlike the group stage fixtures where both sides share a point each in case of a washout, ICC has a reserve day for both semi-finals and finals. To make things worse, the forecast for the reserve day is also showing that there are chances of rain meaning India will automatically qualify for the finals for securing the higher number of points in the group stages.