Both the undefeated teams in the ICC World Cup so far, India and New Zealand will lock horns today On June 13 at Trent Bridge, Nottingham. Where India are considered as favourites along with the defending champion Australia and the host England, New Zealand are one of the underdogs in the tournament.
With the likes of Ross Taylor, Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Lockie Ferguson, Kane Williamson, Trent Boult etc., the Kiwis are all set to give a tough fight to Virat Kohli led India where the inform opener of India, Shikhar Dhawan will be unavailable due to injury in his left thumb.
However, New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor thinks this is too early to choose a favourite in this mega event as all are trying to reach the semi-finals. New Zealand have won the first three games whereas India too won their first two against South Africa and Australia respectively.
“I think it’s still early on. The majority, all nine (other) teams are still, or maybe realistically seven teams still in the hunt,” Taylor said. “I think it’s not only the way the draw works out, you know, if you can get into a bit of a roll towards the end – first and foremost, you’ve got to get into the semi-final.”
Ross Taylor further said that India would miss the service of Shikhar Dhawan as well as the chance to have a left-right batting combination in the opening, with Rohit Sharma. New Zealand, on the other hand, have a right-left combination with Martin Guptill and Colin Munro, which is helpful on English grounds as they have shorter boundaries on one side.
“I haven’t been in the bowling meetings, but obviously Shikhar is a big loss to India. The presence, he plays very well at ICC (International Cricket Council) tournaments and has a very good record over here,” said Taylor.“Himself and Rohit Sharma have a very good partnership, and I think they complement each other well because they’re right and left-handed.”
“In terms of our line-up, I think we’ve had a similar balanced side for a long time, and when you do have a right-left hand combination, it does put pressure in different ways on the bowling opposition,” he added.
New Zealand have already defeated India in the warm-up game ahead of the main event. However, Taylor shared that it wouldn’t be a problem for them to face the Indian spinners in Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal.
“We’ve faced India a lot in recent times and had some success against them,” said Taylor, who scored 82 against Bangladesh. “Obviously, two world-class spinners on their day. I think we’ve had success at different stages. We’ll have to wait and see what the wicket produces tomorrow,” he expressed.