Bengaluru, July 8: The ICC Cricket World Cup has reached its business end. And in the first semifinal of the ongoing edition, India will take on New Zealand in the first last four clash in Manchester on Tuesday (July 9).
Heading into the first semis both camps are confident, but the Men In Blue are the favourites of the encounter. The Kane Williamson-led side are all set to give it their all and give Virat Kohli’s boys a tough fight. But a major concern ahead of the match is the weather.
This World Cup has been a story of washed out matches, and in fact India’s league game against New Zealand was washed out without a ball being bowled. And weather will once again be a major concern in the upcoming match at Old Trafford.
As per the forecast, showers have been predicted and that could dampen the spirits of the players and fans. In case of a washout, ICC has allotted a reserve day. But the weather forecast for Wednesday - the reserve day for the first semifinal - is also not too bright and that could be a big damper.
Though a semifinal match being washed out is a big damper on the game, the Indian fans will at least be relieved that in case of a complete washout, India will go through to the finals.
If the teams aren’t able to play on the reserve day as well, then India will seal the final spot of the World Cup as they finished on top of the points table with 15 points, while New Zealand scraped through with 11 points and finished the league stage at fourth place, and was the last team to qualify for the knockout stage.
Notably, while the league stage match between the two sides had been washed out, the warm up match between the Kane Williamson led side and Virat Kohli’s side had been won by the Kiwis. The New Zealand pacers had made short work of the Indian batting order. But once the tournament began, the Indian batsmen have become a formidable force losing just one match in the league stage.