ODI World Cup digest: Are India unstoppable in quest for home title?

The Men’s 2023 ODI World Cup has reached the semi-final stage in the race to play the final on November 19. Here we will round up the latest action and news from the event and bring you the insights from our reporters on the ground.

Match preview: India vs New Zealand, Mumbai (2pm IST; 8.30am GMT; 7.30pm AEDT)

The unstoppable force and the shape-shifting object

India are having the World Cup of their wildest dreams and it has nothing to do with the fact they are undefeated in it. That is merely a byproduct of their planning leading into the tournament. They left 2019 needing… more. So they went out searching, trying as many as 50 different players across four years and 66 matches. Six months out from the showpiece, they had identified who they wanted and were focused on sharpening their skills. In the 15 ODIs between March and October 2023, they were picking all of their XIs from a set of 24.

Expect a cagey start. Each team trying ever so hard not to make the first mistake, trying not so much to beat the opposition as outlasting them. New Zealand are masters at this art; at just staying in the game long enough until there is an opening to burst through.

Team news

India (probable) 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Shubman Gill, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Shreyas Iyer, 5 KL Rahul (wk), 6 Suryakumar Yadav, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Mohammed Shami, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Jasprit Bumrah, 11 Mohammed Siraj

New Zealand (probable) 1 Devon Conway, 2 Rachin Ravindra, 3 Kane Williamson (capt), 4 Daryl Mitchell, 5 Tom Latham (wk), 6 Glenn Phillips, 7 Mark Chapman, 8 Mitchell Santner, 9 Tim Southee, 10 Lockie Ferguson, 11 Trent Boult

Feature: Jasprit Bumrah is a species of exactly one

Start, for instance, with the meanness and exactness of Jasprit Bumrah‘s new-ball spells. Even if you hadn’t watched a ball, the data would be enough. He has conceded 2.94 runs an over in the first 10 overs of an innings, an economy rate unseen in Tests these days let alone a 50-over World Cup fuelled by four years of T20 batting boom. Meanwhile, all other bowlers in the tournament have gone at 5.51 per over in this phase. No other bowler has gone at less than four per over, let alone under three.

If you have seen him, then immediately you understand that the tone he has set at the start of an innings is as unforgiving as McGrath used to set. Forget scoring, how is one expected to survive this?

Tactics board: Don’t lose the game inside the first 15 overs

India have lost their last four knockout matches against New Zealand across formats. New Zealand have been knocked out by (one of) the hosts in the last three ODI World Cups. One of these streaks will be broken at the Wankhede on Wednesday. Here’s how.

Must Watch: Aaron Finch on how Australia know how to win

News headlines

  • There is a chance that a reserve day could be needed for the Australia-South Africa game in Kolkata. Here’s how it works.
  • Semi-final build-up: There’s no denying David Warner’s an ODI GOAT

    David Warner deserves to be recognised as an all-time ODI great. In an era where the format has been left to wither and batters have struggled to find the right tempo, Warner has thrived. Of the 12 players with 22 ODI centuries or more, only AB de Villiers has both a higher average and strike rate than Warner.

    Among all the ODI greats Australia has produced, Warner stands head and shoulders above them, with the lack of matches he has played only further highlighting his extraordinary output. And in World Cups, when the pressure is at its greatest, he has elevated his performance to a level that only the very elite have achieved.

    Mark Nicholas: In South Africa’s quest for the future, there’s no room for heartbreaks of the past

    To understand this fully, you have to revisit three scoreboards. The first, at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 1992, which read “South Africa to win need 22 runs off 1 ball”. Ridiculous – blame the mathematicians. Though South Africa’s slow over rate had tipped the equation so firmly in England’s favour.

    The second, at Edgbaston in 1999, when just one run was required off the final four balls of the match with the unbeaten player of the tournament, Lance Klusener, on strike. More of that in a minute.

    The third, at Kingsmead in Durban in 2003 – which, to be fair to the South African protagonists, was a tight Duckworth-Lewis job – showed one run required off one ball when the batters in the middle thought none were required of one ball.

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