In a Battle of Equals, India holds sway

Mumbai: World Cup 2023 is now moving towards the final stage. The first semi-final match (1st Semifinal) is being played between India and New Zealand on Wednesday, 15 November. Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium  hosts this match. Although this match between the two teams is expected to be exciting, but considering the performance of the Indian team so far in the tournament, Rohit Brigade is being considered as the contender for victory.

In its campaign so far, the Indian team has made it to the semi-finals by easily defeating all the rival teams including New Zealand. Seeing the excellent performance so far in both the bowling and batting departments, not only the fans but also the former cricketers are considering India as the strongest contender for the title.

In the match held in Dharamshala on 22 October, the Indian team defeated New Zealand by 4 wickets with 12 balls remaining. The team will definitely be in a position of psychological advantage with this victory.

However, the team is not ready to show any laxity in this semi-final match. It knows that now even a single defeat in this big tournament that has reached the knockout round can shatter her dream of winning the title. Team India will also remember that match when the defeat at the hands of New Zealand in the semi-finals had ruined its chances of winning the title in World Cup 2019.

Till now, there has been an equal competition between these two teams in big tournaments like the World Cup. Both the teams have faced each other 9 times in the World Cup so far, in which India has won four times while New Zealand has won five times.

Despite New Zealand’s better record in World Cup matches, one important thing can strengthen the Indian team’s chances of victory. The New Zealand team has not been able to defeat India in any match held in India so far under the World Cup. When the Kiwi team takes the field against India at Wankhede Stadium, this thing will definitely be in the minds of its players.

There have been three matches between the two teams in the World Cup so far and India has won every time. Not only this, Chetan Sharma scored a hat-trick for India and Sunil Gavaskar scored his century in ODI in the World Cup match held in India against New Zealand.

This will be the 8th time that Team India will be playing the World Cup semi-finals. Playing semi-finals 8 times in 13 World Cups is indeed a big achievement. However, Team India’s success percentage in the past World Cup semi-final matches has been low. In the last 7 World Cup semi-finals, Team India has won only 3 matches and had to be eliminated after losing in 4 matches. That means the percentage of victory is only 43.

Semi-final of 1983: The Indian team played its first World Cup final in 1983. This match was against host England only. In this match, first the Indian bowlers all out England for just 213 and then easily achieved the target while losing 4 wickets. The ‘Player of the Match’ was Lala Amarnath. He took two wickets after spending 27 runs and later also played an inning of 46 runs.

1987 Semi-finals: The Indian team made it to the World Cup semi-finals for the second consecutive time. This time also he faced England. This time India was the host. The semi-final match was being played at Wankhede in Mumbai. England, batting first, scored 254 runs at the loss of 6 wickets, in response the Indian team collapsed to 219.

1996 Semi-final: This match was also played on Indian ground and Team India had to face defeat here too. Batting first, Sri Lanka scored 251 runs losing 8 wickets and later the Indian team lost 8 wickets for a total of 120 runs in 34.1 overs. As soon as the eighth wicket fell, the Indian fans present at Eden Gardens got angry and started creating ruckus. The condition was such that after this not a single ball of the match could be bowled and the result of the match was given in favor of Sri Lanka.

2011 Semi-Final: This match was between India and Pakistan. Batting first in Mohali, India scored 260 runs thanks to Sachin Tendulkar’s 85 runs. In reply, Pakistan team could score only 231 runs.

2015 Semi-Final: India suffered a crushing defeat by 95 runs in the semi-final match against host Australia in Sydney. Here the Kangaroo team batted first and scored a huge score of 328 runs. After this, the Indian team was all out after scoring 233 runs in the 47th over.

Semi-finals of 2019: New Zealand had defeated India in the semi-finals of the World Cup 2019. Then the Kiwi team, batting first, had given India a target of only 240 runs. But Team India was bundled out for only 221 runs here.

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