In Match 18 of ICC cricket World Cup 2019, in the absence of an injured Shikhar Dhawan, the India cricket team's alternative strategy will be put through a stern test by a feisty New Zealand attack ready to ask a few probing questions. But that will be only if weather does not play spoilsport at Trent Bridge Stadium in Nottingham on Thursday. In the contest, which might even be curtailed due to inclement weather, the Black Caps' quality seam attack could make things difficult for a new opening pair of Rohit Sharma and (most likely) K L Rahul. Dhawan has been ruled out for at least the next three games owing to a hairline fracture in his left thumb.
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The New Zealand cricket team have had a good record against India at global events. Kane Williamson's men would be more than determined to win their fourth game of the tournament on trot and reach the top of ICC CWC points table. For India, Rahul's probable elevation to the top should bring Vijay Shankar and Dinesh Karthik in the reckoning for the Number 4 slot. The team management has a choice to make between Shankar's all-round abilities and Karthik's experience.
Dhawan has unintentionally forced Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri to go for a tactical rejig despite convincing performances in the first two games against South Africa and Australia. Being forced to tinker with a successful opening combination that has cumulatively scored 4,681 runs is certainly a bit unsettling.
Mohammed Shami may get a chance owing to overcast conditions
The thick cloud cover and damp conditions could also bring in Mohammed Shami into the equation at the expense of one of the wrist spinners.
The situation demands tactics from skipper Kohli and more so from coach Ravi Shastri, known to be a shrewd tactical operator. It couldn't have been a more ideal time to go for such a rejig, given that the tournament is still in its second week and one of the bounciest yet good batting tracks is on offer at Trent Bridge. This might not be the best of circumstances to open the batting but the talented Rahul will be determined to make this opportunity count. If Rahul is able to successfully play out a testing opening spell from Trent Boult, it could work wonders for his confidence going into the next set of games. He would have a great reference point in the dynamic Rohit Sharma, who will be at the other end of the 22 yards.
The manner in which Rohit Sharma has transformed his game according to conditions has been more than commendable. For a compulsive stroke player like him, to eschew his ego and let the Powerplays go with minimum risk, is something that Rahul can learn. It has paid dividends for the Indian vice-captain and he has a hundred and a fifty to show for his efforts in the first two games. The duo of Sharma and Rahul will be up against Boult, who is expected to bring the ball back into the right handers. He troubled the Indian batting in the warm-up game at the Oval but that game happened when the team had just landed on the English soil.
The pitch at Trent Bridge is easily one of the best batting wickets in England but the overcast conditions would definitely assist fast bowlers.
India vs New Zealand playing 11 prediction
India playing 11: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav/Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah
New Zealand playing 11: Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry/Tim Southee
ICC World Cup 2019, Match 18: India vs New Zealand Live streaming details
Date and Day: June 13, 2019, Thursday.
Place: Trent Bridge Stadium, Nottingham
Time: 3:00 pm IST, 10:30 am local time
The World Cup 2019 India vs New Zealand match live streaming will be available live on Star Sports 1 HD, Star Sports 1 with English Commentary and Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 Hindi HD with Hindi Commentary. The live streaming of the World Cup 2019 India vs New Zealand match will be available on Hotstar.
Here are the squads of both teams:
India world cup squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav, Vijay Shankar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, Shikhar Dhawan.
New Zealand world cup squad: Kane Williamson (captain), Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Tom Blundell (wk).