New Zealand are set to lock horns with India in the first semi-final of ICC Men's World Cup 2019 at Manchester's Old Trafford on July 9. The Kiwis led by Kane Williamson are full of players who have the talent to change the outcome of the game single-handedly. New Zealand have finished at fourth place in the points table with five wins, three losses and one match was washed out due to heavy rains.
The Black Caps had started their World Cup campaign on a high winning their first five games but they lost the momentum in the later stage of the tournament as they faced defeat in their last three games.
For New Zealand, their skipper Williamson is in red-hot form but he is not receiving good support from other batsmen. Senior players like Martin Guptill and Ross Taylor are yet to play upto their potential in the Cricket World Cup 2019 so far and it is expected that they would join the party in the match against India and take their side to the final. New Zealand bowlers have performed well so far in the tournament with Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson, Tim Southee and James Neesham all bowling with a good rhythm.
Here's are New Zealand's top batsmen
New Zealand Skipper Kane Williamson has led his side from the front so far. He is top scorer for Black Caps with 481 runs in 8 matches. Williamson has scored two centuries in this World Cup and Indian bowlers must try their best to dismiss him before he could set himself in and score big in the semi-final. It is always tough to dismiss Williamson once he gets his eyes in because he scores at a quick rate without taking much risk. Williamson is not a flamboyant batsman but he has ability to take on any bowler and score runs comfortably.
Williamson had scored a match-winning century (106*) against South Africa to help his side win by 4 wickets. Williamson's commanding innings helped the Kiwis chase down 241 runs with 3 balls to spare. The Kiwi skipper hit his second century in the next match against West Indies. By scoring the century against West Indies, Williamson became only the third captain to score successive World Cup hundreds.
This New Zealand middle-order batsman is someone who holds the key for Kiwis if they want to beat India and reach the final. Taylor has failed to play up to his potential in this World as he has scored just 261 runs in 8 innings. Taylor has not scored a century in this tournament but he is known for playing well in big games and semi-final will definitely be a stage where he would like to showcase his talent. Taylor has scored two half-centuries so far and though he has not scored a century he is looking in good form.
This tall, lanky New Zealand opener is known for tearing apart opposition bowlers in the powerplay overs. Guptill is without doubt one of the most destructive batsmen to have played the game so far. His 163-ball 237 is still the highest score by an individual in the history of World Cup. Guptill has, however, failed to score big in this World Cup so far and is yet to hit a century. It is surprising that Guptill has scored only one half-century in this World Cup. Though Guptill has not scored big so far but Team India must be aware of his potential and it is certain that they would think of ways to dismiss him as quickly as possible.
Here are New Zealand's top bowlers
Lockie Ferguson is the highest wicket-taker for New Zealand in Cricket World Cup 2019 as he has claimed 17 wickets in seven matches so far. Ferguson has been able to generate a good pace and the rhythm with which he has bowled so far sends a clear message that he is going to create troubles for Indian batsman in the semi-final. With a strike of 22.47, Ferguson is ranked at 8th in the World Cup. New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson must be relying on him to perform well against India in the middle overs to stop the Men In Blue from scoring a mammoth total.
The left-arm fast bowler has been the mainstay of New Zealand's bowling for quite some time. With 15 wickets from 8 innings, Boult is the second most successful bowler for New Zealand after Lockie Ferguson. Boult is known for giving early breakthrough to Kiwis and India batsmen will be definitely aware of his capability to swing the ball both ways. Boult's best performance in this World Cup was against when he had claimed four wickets and helped New Zealand to win the match.
Jimmy Neesham is the third most successful bowler for New Zealand in Cricket World Cup 2019 after Lockie Ferguson and Trent Boult. Neesham has claimed 11 wickets so far but he has bowled with good pace and swing. Though Neesham is not a strike bowler he has developed an ability to break partnerships. Neesham's strike rate in this World Cup is 21.81, which is better than Ferguson and Boult.