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2019 World Cup, 1st semi-final: India face 'typical' English test against New Zealand on reserve day in Manchester

India have the chance to press home their advantage against New Zealand when the match restarts but New Zealand will be hanging tight after looking at the weather in Manchester.

Ranit Das Ranit Das @ranitd94
New Delhi Published on: July 10, 2019 11:51 IST
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India face 'typical' English test against New Zealand on reserve day

When Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were running through the overs towards the fag end of the New Zealand innings, Indians would have been a happier lot of the two but following what happened, the world No.1 team will have their work cut out to move into the final of the 2019 World Cup on Wednesday in Manchester.

With New Zealand on 211/5 and just 23 overs ball to play, India would still fancy themselves to reach the final but the path won't be as rosy as it looks at the moment. In their way will be a typical day in England and some world-class fast bowlers, who would feel at home...conditions tailor-made for them as if.

The weather forecast for Wednesday also does not look very promising as forecast of clouds and rain paints a gloomy picture with chances of showers hovering around 20 per cent at the moment. The chance of rain on Tuesday was around 40 to 50 per cent. 

So overcast conditions again and with gloomy skies and a moist pitch due to the rain around and covered pitch, the ball will swing and if there's anyone, who can make the ball talk, it's Trent Boult. The left-armer has been India's nemesis before and as recent as the practice game prior to the tournament and on a day like this, he'd be out to feast on a sumptuous meal. But, it's not Boult and Boult alone, Lockie Ferguson and Matt Henry's pace along with Colin de Grandhomme's nagging line and length will be a real test of persistence and patience for the Indian batsmen, who till now, have always failed to live up to the challenge.

Also, the Indians a wet outfield would mean ball would travel slow to the boundary and more running and risk shots to go after.

But, if India do survive the initial burst from Boult and Ferguson's rockets, a steady partnership and decent run-rate should take India over the line even if the Kiwis end up getting around 240 in their remaining 23 balls. 

What also works in India's favour is that if New Zealand's 50 overs are played and due to rain, India only get to play 20 overs and not more, the target will significantly reduce as long as they don't lose too many wickets.

However, with the pressure of semi-final and a score of 230-250 to chase on a nippy wicket and cloudy sky, India's advantage slightly diminishes. 

It's going to be 'test' of cricket at its finest and whoever prevails the nerves in the opening hour of the game, will feel on top as the game progresses. The ball, however, remains in India's court and a crucial first session of the Indian innings will decide if they smash their way to London or end up getting sliced by New Zealand in Manchester.

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