15 Nov 2023

ICC ODI World Cup-2023 India vs. New Zealand Semifinal: How pitch will behave? Rohit Sharma said this about Kiwis

India and New Zealand will face off in the first semi-final match of the ICC ODI World Cup-2023 on Wednesday, 15 November 2023, at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. The match is scheduled to start at 2 pm IST, with the toss taking place half an hour earlier.

'Both teams have equal opportunities'

The Indian team remains undefeated in the World Cup so far and is considered the favorite. However, New Zealand's captain, Kane Williamson, has stated that both teams have equal opportunities.

Meanwhile, discussions revolve around the Wankhede Stadium pitch, particularly amid conflicting opinions between winners and losers.

On this pitch, India achieved a noteworthy triumph against Sri Lanka. India amassed 357 runs, losing eight wickets, while Sri Lanka's team was restricted to a mere 55 runs. India's Mohammad Shami claimed five wickets, and Mohammad Siraj took three.

The pitch for Wednesday's match has been finalized. Batsmen are anticipated to find it favorable, but conditions such as the setting of Sun and artificial light might aid seam bowlers.

The toss is expected to play a pivotal role, considering the pitch favors batsmen, yet conditions post-sunset could benefit seam bowlers.

India's fast bowlers demonstrated their prowess against Sri Lanka under the lights. Dew could also be a factor. Winning the toss becomes crucial in such scenarios. Sri Lanka struggled to read the pitch and conditions in their match against India, and their decision to bowl first after winning the toss worked against them.

Our team is aware of New Zealand's strengths and weaknesses: Rohit

Rohit Sharma, the Indian captain, ahead of the World Cup semi-final, mentioned that his team is aware of New Zealand's strengths and weaknesses. India had defeated New Zealand in the league round by four wickets.

In the match at Dharamshala, New Zealand's captain, Kane Williamson, was absent due to injury. He will be back in action for the semi-final in Mumbai and anticipates a closely contested match.

Labeling New Zealand as the "most disciplined team," Rohit Sharma said, "They play in a very smart way. They have played with many of our players, and they understand our mentality."

He added, "We also know how they play. We know their strengths and weaknesses."

New Zealand had defeated India in the World Cup semi-final in 2019.

Responding to a query about focusing on the Indian team's past performances, Rohit Sharma stated, "I don't talk about past matches. I see how our players can improve today to make themselves better."

There is pressure of expectations

He emphasized that every match the Indian team plays, including the semi-final, carries the pressure of expectations, but the players know how to face the challenge.

While India dominated the league round, Rohit Sharma and his players are aware that there is no room for a comeback for the team that loses in the semi-final.

Rohit Sharma concluded, "We understand the importance of this match. We don't need to do anything different from what we have been doing in the World Cup so far."

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