Cricket

JUST IN: Team India playing XI for third World Cup clash against New Zealand announced

The Men in Blue dominated the Proteas in their first encounter. In the second game, Australia was humbled in a high-scoring encounter. Now, Team India gears up for its third game in Nottingham. It will be a daunting challenge for the ‘Men in Blue’ facing New Zealand who is yet to be beaten in the tournament. The conditions in Nottingham have been rainy and overcast for the last few days.

These are the similar kind of conditions that the Kiwi bowlers relish and would look to do a repeat of what they did in the practice game a few days ago. However, there is a rain threat looming around and the fans will have their fingers crossed. With Shikhar Dhawan injured, India will have a forced change to make for this match.

Here is the Predicted Playing XI for India:

Openers (KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma)

Indian opener, Shikhar Dhawan, who registered a century against Australia, hurt his finger in the same game. The scans revealed that he has fractured his figure and will be out of action for some time. Thus, India will have to go with a new opening pair for this match. KL Rahul, who was batting at number four thus far, is likely to be promoted up the order to open the innings.

Rahul has been in fine touch scoring a century in the warm-up fixture against Bangladesh. He has looked good in whatever opportunities that he’s got and will have a new challenge facing the new ball. At the other end, he will have Rohit Sharma who has started the tournament on an excellent note with a century and a half-century in the two games so far.

Middle Order (Virat Kohli (c), Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni (wk))

Virat Kohli, who scored a fine 82 in the last game, will walk out to bat at number three. With some big hitters around him, his role will be to anchor the innings and stay in the middle right till the end. He will have a huge role to play if the ball swings a bit and if there is an early breakthrough. With KL Rahul opening the innings now, there is a void left at the number four position.

It could be Vijay Shankar who is likely to be slotted into the eleven. He had an extended batting session in the nets and was initially the preferred choice to bat at this position. MS Dhoni will follow him in the batting order. The management might not promote him and he’ll continue to be the finisher. The wicketkeeper-batsman has shown a lot of intent with the bat and seems extremely hungry for runs.

All Rounders (Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav)

Hardik Pandya, who is possibly in the form of his life with the bat, will be the floater in this line-up. Depending upon the situation of the game, his batting position will be adjusted and he can bat almost at any position. Pandya provided the team with the final impetus in the last match and was hitting the ball really clean. Moreover, he is an important bowler for the team as well.

While he can be expensive at times, Pandya has got the knack of picking up some important wickets. And so is the case with Kedar Jadhav who can provide the team with crucial breakthroughs. His batting prowess in the tournament is yet to be tested. He didn’t get to face even a single ball in the two games thus far.

Bowlers (Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah)

Many might have been sceptical about Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s place in the eleven. Him being picked ahead of Mohammed Shami has raised quite a few questions. But he has answered all his critics with his performances in the two games so far. By dismissing both Steve Smith and Marcus Stoinis in the same over, he has turned the last game in the favour of India. Moreover, he has been one of the most economical bowlers for the team.

There might be talks about having Ravindra Jadeja in the team. But, Kuldeep Yadav is likely to get another game as the New Zealand batsmen struggle against wrist spin. Yadav will share the spin duties with his good mate Yuzvendra Chahal who has been great in the tournament. Jasprit Bumrah will lead the bowling attack in this line-up and will be the key to break some important partnerships.


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