The only teams to remain unscathed.
World Cup 2019 has aged two weeks, and most of the teams have seen ups and downs, some only downs and two of them only ups, staying unbeaten so far. New Zealand have won all of their three matches, whereas India took maximum points in their couple of matches. New Zealand dominated India in the warm-up match leading to the World Cup, but a repeat of that event looks highly unlikely.
New Zealand crushed Sri lanka on their opening match, then beat Bangladesh in a nail-biting thriller and beat Afghanistan comfortably in their last match. Their pace battery combining Trent Boult, Matt Henry and Lockie Ferguson looks deadly, and will look to replicate their performance against India in the warm-up game. They have a dilemma in Tim Southee, as he is fit. The veteran seamer might be brought in considering the overcast conditions in Nottingham and his great record against Virat Kohli. New Zealand’s opening pair hasn’t been providing them a great foundation till now, being the least productive opening pair since the 2015 World Cup. New Zealand mainly gather runs from their middle order where batsmen like Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor and Tom Latham comes in.
India have a problem in Shikhar Dhawan’s injury, the opener is out for two matches with a thumb injury. KL Rahul might be the one to come up to partner Rohit Sharma to open the innings, but the question of who comes in for Dhawan stays at Large. Vijay Shankar was taunted to play at No.4, with Dinesh Karthik also being an option. Shankar’s medium pace bowling might give him the upper hand, but Karthik has been reliable when called upon. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah both have looked immaculate with their bowling so far, and with two wrist spinners in Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, India will try to restrict New Zealand for a small total.
Considering the overcast conditions in Nottingham, the match can turn out to be decided by the swing bowlers. New Zealand will hope that Trent Boult can reciprocate his warm-up match performance against India where he picked up four wickets and broke the backbone of Indian batting dismissing Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul. And with Tim Southee’s selection a possibility, New Zealand will have a deadly swing force. On the other hand, India also has Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah in their ranks, India will look to rattle the Blackcaps with their own pace battery as well. But all of these looks a doubt, as the weather forecast shows a 50% possibility of rain at Nottingham on Thursday.
New Zealand might just want to bring in a couple of changes, considering the conditions. Tim Southee can get back in to the team in expense of Matt Henry, whereas Colin Munro might be dropped to place Henry Nicholls.
Probable lineup - 1. Martin Guptill, 2. Henry Nicholls/Colin Munro, 3. Kane Williamson ©, 4. Ross Taylor, 5. Tom Latham (wk), 6. James Neesham, 7. Colin de Grandhomme, 8. Mitchell Santner, 9. Tim Southee/Matt Henry, 10. Trent Boult, 11. Lockie Ferguson
Shikhar Dhawan is out with a thumb injury, and KL Rahul will advance up the order to replace him. One of Vijay Shankar or Dinesh Karthik will take up the No.4 spot, and other spots look to stay the same.
Probable lineup - 1. Rohit Sharma, 2. KL Rahul, 3. Virat Kohli ©, 4. Vijay Shankar/Dinesh Karthik, 5. Kedar Jadhav, 6. MS Dhoni (wk), 7. Hardik Pandya, 8. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 9. Kuldeep Yadav, 10. Yuzvendra Chahal, 11. Jasprit Bumrah
Pitch and Conditions
Nottingham is known for helping the swing bowlers, and the possibility of change is highly unlikely. The weather forecast predicts overcast conditions, which will only help the seamers. But the matter of fear is the 50% chance of rain, which can come in to play spoilsport.