New Zealand: WWWWW
In the spotlight
KL Rahul has started to become an all-purpose fix-it kind of player. At Kings XI Punjab this IPL, he was given the role of anchor. For the same team in the previous IPL, he was asked to forget about everything and just go berserk. For India, he's the back-up opener, but then showed he has the game to be their No. 4 bat. That really is the thing here. Rahul has the game - when he's switched on he can even find a way through those nasty inswingers that keep getting him out and that's why he's able to adapt to all the roles given to him. Just a question of staying switched on.
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Tom Latham might understand those sentiments. He too is an opener by trade but has had to take up a middle order position because New Zealand needed stability there and he's got the skills to tackle the kind of bowling most No. 5s usually face - spin, spin and more spin. Plus, he's taken on wicketkeeping duties as well and has become a very safe presence behind the stumps.
The only question around the Indian team is who will come in at No. 4. Vijay Shankar was the first batsman to hit the nets. Is that enough of a hint that he'll make his World Cup debut?
India (probable): 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 KL Rahul, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 Dinesh Karthik/Vijay Shankar, 5 MS Dhoni (wk), 6 Kedar Jadhav, 7 Hardik Pandya, 8 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Yuzvendra Chahal, 11 Jasprit Bumrah
Colin Munro was worked out the last time these team teams played against each other, so there may be a case of having Henry Nicholls back as opener.
New Zealand (probable): 1 Martin Guptill, 2 Colin Munro/ Henry Nicholls, 3 Kane Williamson (capt), 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Tom Latham (wk), 6 James Neesham, 7 Mitchell Santner, 8 Colin de Grandhomme, 9 Tim Southee/Matt Henry, 10 Lockie Ferguson, 11 Trent Boult
Pitch and conditions
This game will be played on a fresh strip, one that is more centrally located and therefore helping even out the boundary distances. They'll still be short though and that's why most teams prefer chasing here. But if you truly do prefer setting a total, just know that, since July 8 2015, the average first innings score that's resulted in a win is 390. #GoooooodLuck
Strategy puntStats and Trivia