The group stage is over and now business really begins. We analyse the first 2023 Cricket World Cup semi-final with our India vs New Zealand prediction and preview.
Hosts India have been phenomenal at this World Cup so far, maintaining a 100% win rate through the gruelling nine-match group stage. India won their first five matches whilst chasing and the subsequent four whilst batting first, proving they can cope with whatever the coin toss throws at them. Those nine victories have been commanding too. No side has come within 100 runs when chasing their target and only in one of their chases have they needed more than 250 balls before sealing victory.
The opponent to run them closest however was New Zealand, who scored 273, a target that India only reached at the end of the 48th over of their chase.
The Black Caps have had more of a rollercoaster route to this stage, winning five but losing four of their group-stage games. They had to wait until the final round to be sure of their passage.
Four commanding wins were abruptly halted by defeat to India and Virat Kohli’s magnificent 95. Three further defeats followed before they ended their group stage with a comfortable win over Sri Lanka.
This will be the fifth head-to-head clash between India and New Zealand in men’s ODIs this calendar year, with India winning all four of their meetings so far in 2023. That said, prior to this run the Black Caps had strung together a five-match winning run against them.
In ICC Cricket World Cup clashes, this is just the second time the sides have met outside the group stage, with NZ winning the previous such meeting in the semi-finals of the 2019 edition. India will be looking to avenge that defeat but New Zealand themselves will still be haunted by memories of their loss to England in the 2019 final.
Route to the Semi-Final
- Beat Australia by 6 wickets
- Beat Afghanistan by 8 wickets
- Beat Pakistan by 7 wickets
- Beat Bangladesh by 7 wickets
- Beat New Zealand by 4 wickets
- Beat England by 100 runs
- Beat Sri Lanka by 302 runs
- Beat South Africa by 243 runs
- Beat Netherlands by 160 runs
- Beat England by 9 wickets
- Beat Netherlands by 99 runs
- Beat Bangladesh by 8 wickets
- Beat Afghanistan by 149 runs
- Lost to India by 4 wickets
- Lost to Australia by 5 runs
- Lost to South Africa by 190 runs
- Lost to Pakistan by 21 runs (DLS)
- Beat Sri Lanka by 5 wickets
Both sides have plenty of firepower in the batting department, but up top is where this game could be won and lost. Top-order batters Rachin Ravindra and Rohit Sharma were two of just four players to hit 500+ runs in the group stage.
A comparison between the two players makes for interesting reading. Despite having a higher dot-ball rate and a lower attacking shot rate, it is Sharma who has actually scored the quicker of the two. Three-quarters of his runs have come from boundaries, the highest rate of any of the 17 openers to score 150 runs at this World Cup.
Ravindra has batted at No. 3 and No. 2 in this ODI World Cup and has been successful in both slots. The Black Caps star, who turns 24 this weekend, has notched up 565 runs so far and needs just 14 more to register the most ever by a New Zealand batter in a men’s World Cup campaign (beating Kane Williamson’s 578 in 2019).
With the ball, the seamers will undoubtedly feature heavily throughout. Jasprit Bumrah (17) leads India for most wickets in the tournament to date, although fellow seamer Mohammed Shami (16) is not far behind.
But we are going to take a look at the spin units of both sides. Mitchell Santner is the main go-to option for the Kiwis, and leads the side in the wicket-taking column with 16, although Ravindra and potentially Glenn Phillips could offer options too. India split their workload between Kuldeep Yadav (who is set for his 100th ODI cap) and Ravindra Jadeja, with both notching 70+ overs bowled in the group stage.
Unsurprisingly, the Indian spinners have been dominant on home pitches in this World Cup. They’ve accrued the joint-most wickets (32) alongside Afghanistan, despite bowling 100 overs fewer of spin. India’s spinners also have the best cumulative average (20.8), economy rate (4.1), dot-ball rate (57%) and rate of balls delivered per boundary scored (17.5 balls). They’ve also been accurate, bowling just five wides and one no-ball. Only England were more disciplined in the group stage (three wides, zero no-balls).
Both sides used their spin bowlers sparingly in the power play overs (India three overs bowled, NZ eight), instead using them to stifle the scoring rate in the middle overs, while letting the seamers do the damage up top.
New Zealand did however find use for their spinners at the death. The 20.4 overs they bowled at this stage was more than any other side in the groups. Whichever unit finds their rhythm quicker and more effectively in this huge match could well swing the Live Win Predictor in their side’s favour.
India vs New Zealand Prediction
Win prediction: India 57% – New Zealand 43%
Score prediction (assumes side wins toss and bats first): India – 304, New Zealand – 294
Top scorer prediction: India – Shubman Gill (49 runs), New Zealand – Devon Conway (47 runs)
The Opta supercomputer predicts this first semi-final be a fairly even encounter, but has hosts India (57%) as favourites to overcome New Zealand (43%) when the two meet at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Shubman Gill is predicted to top score for India, with Devon Conway leading the charge for the Kiwis.
India vs New Zealand Squads:
India: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Prasidh Krishna
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (captain), Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitch Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee and Will Young