Date: October 31, 2021
Time: 7:30 PM IST
Venue: Dubai International Cricket Stadium
After an exciting start to the T20 World Cup, it is now time for one of the most-anticipated games of the tournament as India face New Zealand in a virtual knockout contest on Sunday. With both sides losing their first games to Pakistan, there will be so much at stake in Dubai which sets up the platform perfectly for an exciting clash. Will Kohli's side register their first win over the Kiwis in an ICC event after 18 years or will New Zealand continue to dominate India? Let's wait and watch!
Toss has played a crucial factor in Dubai during the World Cup so far, with sides batting second getting a fair amount of advantage with dew on the field. With a total of 150-160 not proving to be competitive enough, the side batting first might look to go beyond 180-run mark to give themselves a chance. With scoring runs not so easy in the middle overs, the side which bats well in powerplay might eventually go on to win the match.
India: Virat Kohli's side entered the tournament as one of the favourites but after one defeat only, they find themselves in a very tricky situation. They were outplayed by Pakistan in all departments in their first match but it might just have been an off day. India have a star-studded side and with some match-winning players like Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant at their disposal, they would certainly be fancying their chances against the Kiwis on Sunday. Although their bowlers failed to take a single wicket against Babar Azam's side, the senior pace duo of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami will be raring to wreak havoc.
New Zealand: One of the major positives that the Kiwis might have taken from their loss to Pakistan would certainly be the way they fought till the last ball. Defending a small target, New Zealand bowlers did a brilliant job but it was not enough to take their side over the line. The NZ batsmen really struggled in the challenging UAE conditions and it won't be an easy task for them against a lethal Indian bowling line-up. While most of the Indian players have played in similar conditions in IPL, it is a slightly different territory for New Zealand which might prove to be a huge factor in the end.
India: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (c), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Martin Guptill, Kyle Jamieson, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Adam Milne
Conclusion: Although India have not won against New Zealand in ICC events since their victory in 2003 World Cup, Virat Kohli's side will need to cross the hurdle this time around if they want to keep faith in their own hands for progressing ahead. The Men in Blue will certainly have an edge on paper as well and they will start as favourites going into this contest. However, the match is as important for the Kiwis as well and they will certainly be up for a fight in Dubai on Sunday.
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