After experiencing a dream run in the round-robin saga of the ICC World Cup 2019, Team India will be locking horns with New Zealand in the first semi-final of the ongoing World Cup at the Old Trafford on Tuesday. While the Men in Blue ended up on the top of the points table with seven wins in the league stage, the Kiwis just scraped through to the top four due to a superior net run-rate.
No wonder India are the favourites to win the match and even the former Australia skipper Michael Clarke is backing them to storm into the finals. Rohit Sharma has played a crucial role for India so far with the bat scoring five hundreds while Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami have led the way with the ball. But the team will take New Zealand at their own peril as the BlackCaps have the ability to go past any team in the world on their day.
Having said that Clarke feels that Virat Kohli’s men have one foot already in the finals. “No-brainer for me, India is in the final. In cricket, you should never say that, if I was an Indian player I wouldn’t be thinking like that or if I was Virat Kohli I wouldn’t be thinking like that.
“But from outside, India is on fire they are playing unbelievable cricket at the moment and in my opinion, they already have one foot in the final,” he said while speaking to India Today.
They cannot take anything for granted
New Zealand lost to Pakistan, Australia and England in their last three matches but winning big earlier in the tournament helped them immensely to make it to the top four. Michael Clarke pointed out the same and also went on to claim that the Kiwis’ confidence has taken a hit with recent losses while India have won big which will make the difference.
“But they cannot take anything for granted and play good, hard cricket they have been the whole tournament. New Zealand at the moment are really low on confidence because of their most recent performances. That is what is going to make the game so hard against India. India are flying with confidence because of their most recent performances,” the 38-year-old further added.