Cricket lovers across the country are gearing up for another blockbuster Sunday as they are ready to see Team India face New Zealand in a Super 12 match in the ongoing Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup. This would be a tie of two teams desperate to notch their first win in the Super 12 round.
Key Details Of The Match
Sunday’s match will be played in Dubai at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. The curtain will rise at 7.30 pm (IST). Indian viewers will be able to watch the game live on the Star Sports Network. It will also be available on-demand on Disney+Hotstar.
Weather reports suggest that temperatures would hover around 27 to 31 degrees centigrade, and skies would remain clear. The pitch would favour the side batting second due to the dew factor setting in, disarming bowlers sufficiently from putting their art into practice.
Importance Of The Match
India and New Zealand would be looking to reinstate their claim of being a legit contender for the title by winning this encounter. Pakistan has earlier played their part by beating both teams, thus turning Sunday’s match a must-win for both sides.
India and New Zealand have faced each other a total of 16 times in T20 internationals. Each has beaten the other a total of 8 times. New Zealand holds the advantage over India in ICC T20 World Cups, however, with 2 victories, first in 2007 and second in 2016.
Hardik Pandya will remain doubtful for the game on Sunday due to his injury.
From the Kiwi side, Lockie Ferguson has been ruled out of the competition after picking up a calf injury.
High Time India Raises The Bar
After a disappointing defeat at the hands of arch-rivals Pakistan, Team India would be hoping to get their tournament back on track by posting their first victory at the Super 12 round. Many cricket commentators are of the view that Virat Kohli should bring in Shardul Thakur in place of Bhuvaneshwar Kumar. The latter had been ineffective against Pakistan and seemed to be out of touch. The spotlight would be on Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami, who together have the mettle to bring down a formidable New Zealand batting line-up.
New Zealand Looking To Up The Ante As Well
New Zealand would heave a sigh of relief if they could overcome the Indian juggernaut on Sunday. The Kiwis are well aware of the depth of the Indian squad. So they would be hoping to see skipper Kane Williamson weave some magic with his bat. Among the bowlers, a lot would be riding on Ish Sodhi to make an impact when the chips are down.
Star Players From The Two Sides
As usual, all eyes would be on Indian Captain Virat Kohli to deliver when the team would want it the most. He has amassed over 3000 T20 internationals runs, and would look to add to his tally. Bumrah has always been lethal when he is in his groove. With a failure behind him, he would be dying to prove his doubters wrong and pick up important Kiwi scalps.
From the Kiwi side, Martin Guptill is a threat at the top of their batting order. He has almost completed 3000 T2O international runs in his career and could get to the personal milestone against India. The pace combo of Tim Southee and Trent Boult could rip through India’s batting top order if they get adequate aid from the pitch. Boult already has 47 T20 wickets and would be fired up to reach the 50th.
Probable Starting Elevens Of Both Sides
India: K L Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (C), Rishabh Pant (Wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya, Shardul Thakur, Varun Chakravarthy, Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Tim Seifert (Wk), Kane Williamson (C), Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult, Daryl Mitchell, Tim Southee
Kohli Looking To Go Out On A High
The current tournament will most likely be the final time we will get to see Virat Kohli leading the team out as captain of the T20 side, and supporters would love to see him take the team all the way. A lot rests on the outcome of Sunday’s clash with New Zealand. Seeing as India does not have a good record against the Kiwis in ICC competitions across all formats, a win would change the statistics in more ways than one.