There’s a chance that the hosts’ irritation stems from the sadness that occurred in Manchester in 2019.If further proof is needed of the Kiwis’ superiority against India in international competition, consider the how they handled the latter team in the 2021 ICC WTC Final.
Even while this Indian team has a history of overcoming difficult circumstances, they will be conscious that a loss at the Wankhede Stadium would be seen as a national tragedy that would break a billion hearts.
Therefore, India will also need to overcome the strain resulting from the high expectations that have been placed on them, which have been further heightened by their league phase success.
In a crucial game, captain Rohit and coach Rahul Dravid-two people who are well-versed in the dangers of having high expectations-will need to keep their team composed and shield them from the fear of losing.
However, those are more mental issues. On the pitch, there are equally important items to attend to.
Initially, the Indian team and its hordes of supporters will hope and pray that Rohit makes the correct call at the toss. At this venue, the teams batting second have always suffered a spate of early wicket losses under the lights, with the new ball flying high and skidding off the deck.
There are bowlers in both India and New Zealand who can do a great deal of damage with the new ball.
In that situation, a lot would depend on Rohit and Shubman Gill, the Indian openers, and their brave attitude.
The Mumbaikar has amassed 503 runs thus far and would be hoping for more, but Gill, who has scored 270 runs in seven games, would like to take center stage with a dominant performance against the Kiwis.
With 593 runs, Virat Kohli currently leads the tournament in run scoring, and he is still awaiting his 50th ODI century. He hopes to combine the landmark with an Indian triumph.
In addition, Kohli wants to escape the semifinal curse, having been dismissed for 1 in both the 2019 and 2015 editions.
Before the semi-finals, India’s middle-order batsmen, KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer, will be in fine form, which will also delight the management, although Suryakumar Yadav’s runs will be welcomed.
Although Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj, who have been unplayable when singing, have taken most of the spotlight, Jasprit Bumrah and Kuldeep Yadav remain as deadly as ever.
India’s bowling attack has been the most impressive in this World Cup when it comes to bowling on flat wickets.
Still, it would be foolish to discount the Kiwi pace trio of Mitchell Santner, Trent Boult, Tim Southee, and Lockie Ferguson.
They will also look to take advantage of any pressure India may be under in front of the home crowd, as they possess the experience and talent necessary to make an impression even on a shirtfront. India cannot afford to lose, so the Blackcaps can play their best cricket knowing they have very little to lose.
New Zealand has sufficient depth and experience in the batting department to withstand the raiding bowlers from India.
While Devon Conway lacks big scores (his unbeaten 152 against England in the tournament opener was the only occasion he scored fifty or more), young Rachin Ravindra (565 runs) is the tournament’s discovery.
On paper, New Zealand cannot match India’s firepower, but they can certainly go deep. Captain Kane Williamson and Daryl Mitchell are the middle-order lynchpins.
It all comes down to who can handle high-stress situations the best, and we might just have a cracker.
India: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer (wk), KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishan Kishan (wk), Prasidh Krishna, Suryakumar Yadav
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (c), Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham (wk), Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips (wk), Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Will Young
(With PTI inputs)