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India win toss, opt to bat first against New Zealand in World Cup semi-final battle
World Cup
Photo courtesy: X/@BCCI

India win toss, opt to bat first against New Zealand in World Cup semi-final battle

| @indiablooms | 15 Nov 2023, 01:57 pm

Mumbai/IBNS: India captain Rohit Sharma won the toss and elected to bat first against New Zealand in a semi-final clash of the Cricket World Cup 2023 at the Wankhede Stadium here on Wednesday.

Both India and New Zealand are playing with the same team.

Speaking at the toss, Rohit said, "It looks like a good pitch. Looks like on the slower side."

Having not reached the finals on the last five occasions at the ICC Men's ODI World Cups, this time India want to reverse this at a venue where they won their last title back in 2011.

New Zealand, on the other hand, have never won any, despite reaching three finals in seven years. Both sides would like to change their fortunes when they lock horns at the iconic Wankhede Stadium in the first semifinal of the tournament here on Wednesday.

Of late, India-New Zealand encounters have been exciting, and yet another faceoff at the biggest ODI event, takes the fans to the 2019 semifinal memories when both teams met at the Old Trafford in Manchester.

Then, India lost the nail-biting classic, despite Ravindra Jadeja and Mahendra Singh Dhoni doing their best, but failed to guide India to the finals.

India's progression to this World Cup semifinal has been even more serene than it was in England four years ago, with Rohit Sharma’s side winning all nine games, and rarely even looking like being challenged on their path to the knockout stages.

In this script so far, Virat Kohli and Rohit have been the protagonists. Kohli has scored more runs, but the India captain has repeatedly set the tone for India throughout with his exceptional form.

His 503 runs have come at a strike rate of 121.49, helping India to get off to the sort of starts that have taken run-rate pressure off those in the middle order.

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