Predicted XI of India vs New Zealand ICC Cricket World Cup 2023: Who will fill the gap with Hardik Pandya’s size?

India vs New Zealand Predicted XI, Cricket World Cup 2023: At stake is the top spot in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 points table, India vs New Zealand in match no. 21 promises to be a thrilling spectacle at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamshala on Sunday. India and New Zealand are the only teams remaining unbeaten after playing four matches in this Cricket World Cup and will be looking to continue their winning streak.

India’s wins came against Australia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh, while New Zealand beat England, Netherlands, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. New Zealand leads the points table thanks to a superior net performance ratio and is closely followed by India.

The last meeting between the two sides in the ODI World Cup ended in misery for Team India with New Zealand emerging victorious by 18 runs in the semi-finals of the ODI World Cup 2019 in Manchester, England.

New Zealand have also had a better record in ODI World Cup matches against India, winning five of their nine matches and losing three of them. One match did not result.

While Rohit Sharma’s in-form side seem to have all the bases in place for the crucial contest, Hardik Pandya’s injury comes as a huge blow and the big question is who will fill the gap for India against New Zealand.

Openers: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill

Rohit Sharma has been in scintillating form in this World Cup. After getting out early against Australia, the Indian skipper laid perfect platforms for his side with aggressive batting from the front in the next three matches.

Rohit Sharma’s 131 against Afghanistan made light work of a target of 273 runs. His runs were at a strike rate of over 150 and included five sixes. Against Pakistan, the Hitman toyed with the bowling of Haris Rauf and Shaheen Afridi and scored 86 runs in just 63 balls. Rohit Sharma missed out on half-centuries against Bangladesh, but his 48 off 40 gave India a solid base in the chase.

Shubman Gill missed the first two matches due to a viral infection and managed to make just 16 against Pakistan. However, the 53-run defeat against Bangladesh should boost confidence.

Middle Row: Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav

Virat Kohli has proved true to his ‘Chase Master’ moniker in this ODI World Cup. India struggled against Australia as they were reduced to 2 for 3 inside two overs. Virat Kohli stepped up to the challenge and rescued his team with a brutal 85. KL Rahul hit an unbeaten 97 to see the chase end. Virat Kohli smashed big against Bangladesh in the previous match and will look to repeat the feat against New Zealand.

With all-rounder Hardik Pandya absent through injury, the onus will be on Shreyas Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav or Ishan Kishan to chip in with handy batting in the middle order.

Spinners: Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja

Left-handers Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja turned the contest against Bangladesh in India’s favor with brilliant spells after the opposition got off to a good start. While Ravindra Jadeja claimed seven wickets in four matches at an impressive economy of under four runs an over, Kuldeep Yadav won tough overs at an economy of just over four and took six wickets.

Both work in the middle overs and India will once again pin their hopes on the off-spin of Ravindra Jadeja and China’s Kuldeep Yadav to stem the flow of runs against New Zealand in the middle overs.

Ravichandran Ashwin can also be included in the starting XI if India feel the need to go in with an extra spinner on the HPCA track.

Fast bowlers: Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj/Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur

Jasprit Bumrah has been the leader of India’s fast bowling attack at the ICC World Cup 2023. Bumrah has already picked 10 wickets from the four matches at an average of 13.40 and an astonishing economy of 3.62 runs per over. He is third in the list of top wicket takers in this ODI World Cup.

Mohammad Siraj kept going at an economy of over six runs an over but was instrumental in undoing Pakistan’s good start against India. The experienced Mohammed Shami may also get his first match of the tournament.

Shardul Thakur will look to provide Bumrah and Siraj/Shami some crucial support with his variations and also chip in with runs down the batting order if required.

Expected India XI vs New Zealand: Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (WK), Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj/Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah .

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