In a month’s time, England will tour New Zealand, playing five T20s and two Tests.
After starting the World Cup matches on a winning note, both teams will have a neck-and-neck fight at Trent Bridge on Thursday.
India won their games against South Africa and Australia and the Kiwis won their game against three Asian teams: Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
So far, these two teams have been unbeaten in this competition.
India will face a tougher rivalry when they will face Trent Boult with the new ball. India also has a concern after losing Shikhar Dhawan due to a finger injury.
Shikhar Dhawan was the man in-form alongside Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya and MS Dhoni. But his injury has raised the same old questions regarding the number 4 conundrum.
KL Rahul was the preferred number 4 batsman but now he will have to open the innings with Rohit Sharma.
India will have to find the answers to the sudden woes of the number 4 batsman.
Rishab Pant can be the choice, as he has been called as the backup batsman for Shikhar Dhawan.
But can India try with Dinesh Karthik as their number 4? Karthik has the experience, he has batted in England before. This will be a tough decision for team management.
If MS Dhoni is to bat at number five, DK should be an obvious choice. Rishabh Pant has the class, he is a flamboyant player, but Dinesh Karthik has the experience to counter swing and he can also switch gears when required to do so.
In the last match, the top three batsmen blasted the Aussies bowlers. But now will it affect the balance and momentum of the side?
India needs to continue its momentum by not worrying too much about Dhawan’s absence.
KL Rahul can do the job for Team India. He is picked up as the backup opener and now he should play for that spot.
The middle order to come good against Australia at the Oval. Hardik Pandya’s cameo was a treat to watch.
He didn’t disappoint any of the Indian supports after being promoted up the order. His cameo of 48 runs was another highlight of that match.
Cameos from MS Dhoni and KL Rahul also came in handy – because of those India reached the mammoth score of 353 in their 50 overs.
And skipper Virat Kohli batted well for 80 runs. He is still the key player when India’s batting is concerned. His form in the tournament will be the key.
Kohli’s captaincy has been good in the last two games. He has made good use of Yuzvendra Chahal in both the matches. When it comes to captaining India, Virat Kohli’s captaincy is spot on. That may not be sure when he captains the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL.
Bowlers have done a marvellous job so far in this tournament. Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have been on the mark.
The only concern is the form of Kuldeep Yadav. He bowled well against South Africa in that opening game but against Australia, he struggled to pick wickets. Kohli will expect him to come over this issue.
On the other hand, New Zealand will want to continue their winning run. They have won all the matches they have played until now.
The Kiwis have beaten India in the warm-up match. That will play in their minds. But they shouldn’t take India lightly as Kohli and his men have won the series at their home soil and that was not too far ago.
For the Blackcaps, Martin Guptill, skipper Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor hold the key. They have a good amount of experience when it is compared to the other New Zealand batsmen.
New Zealand will expect loads of runs from these three key players and they are the players to watch out for in this encounter against India today.
Trent Boult and Tim Southee will threaten in English conditions. Ish Sodhi and Mitch Santner are capable of stopping the flow of runs in the middle overs.
India and New Zealand will face off after the 2003 World Cup and the Kiwis have an edge when it comes to the stats. So far seven matches have been played between these two countries.
New Zealand has won four games and India has won three.
Probable XI Of India – KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant/Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and Jasprit Bumrah.
Probable XI Of New Zealand – Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson, Tom Latham, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, and Trent Boult