The Indian cricket team will face New Zealand in a crucial Super 12, Group 2 match in the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday. Both teams faced defeats in their opening game of the tournament to Pakistan, who are occupying top place with three wins from three matches. It’s going to be a massive test of character for the two teams in order to make things count. Also, this game has a lot to offer, including the chances of these two sides making it to the semis alongside Pakistan. Ahead of a cracking encounter, we present the key player battles.
Rohit Sharma vs Trent Boult
Senior Indian opening batter Rohit Sharma will need to bounce back after being dismissed for a duck versus Pakistan. Rohit has a tendency to be a bit nervous against left-arm seamers. And that’s where Trent Boult comes into the picture. Boult will look to bowl straight and full and try to bring in the in-swingers to perturb Rohit. It’s going to be a keen contest between bat and ball.
KL Rahul vs Tim Southee
The in-form KL Rahul, who had an excellent IPL 2021 season, also failed to get going against Pakistan in the first encounter. Rahul can give India the perfect start but things won’t be easy. He has both Boult and veteran Tim Southee to negotiate. Southee, who recently got to 100 T20I wickets will hope to make the most of his experience by bowling a tight length to Rahul.
Virat Kohli vs Ish Sodhi
Indian skipper Virat Kohli managed a gutsy half-century against Pakistan, guiding India to a decent total of 151/7. Kohli has always been on a different level in terms of the T20 World Cup. He will hope to bring his experience into play against a disciplined Kiwi bowling unit. Kohli can struggle against spin and there’s Ish Sodhi, who can exploit Kohli’s weakness. Sodhi is a top-rated T20 bowler.
Martin Guptill vs Mohammed Shami
Martin Guptill is one of the leading scorers in T20Is. The veteran Kiwi batter had a poor outing against Pakistan and will be hoping to make his presence felt against Team India. He will be backed to give the Kiwis a good start. The manner in which he negotiates Mohammed Shami will be key. Shami faced a lot of backlash for his performance against Pakistan and would love to silence his doubters with a match-winning spell. He is a terrific white-ball bowler and had a defining IPL.
Kane Williamson vs Jasprit Bumrah
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson has to stay strong and contribute immensely. The calm and experienced customer has Jasprit Bumrah to fend against. They have had some interesting battles in the past, and a key test awaits the two players. Bumrah will be effective both in the powerplay and death overs and Williamson coming early on will be tested. Both players are match-winners and have a lot to give.