If you are pacing around anxiously ahead of the India vs New Zealand semi-final clash, you aren’t alone. India, under the leadership of Rohit Sharma, have bulldozed over each and every opponent they have faced in the ICC World Cup 2023, winning 9 out of 9 contests. Despite a perfect 100% run, the nervousness among the cricket fans of India is palpable.
Why? India’s next hurdle is the big semis and the opponents are none other than the Kiwis. Yes, the same side that shattered the dreams of millions of Indians in 2019 when the dominant Men in Blue army led by MS Dhoni were handed a humbling 18-run defeat while chasing 240 in Manchester.
To add to the misery, India have lost 9 out of 14 contests against the Black Caps in the limited overs format at the biggest stage and are yet to defeat New Zealand in a knockout round. A stat of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma’s batting performances in ODI World Cup semi-final floating around just a day ahead of the blockbuster clash hasn’t really helped calm down the nerves of cricket lovers.
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Kohli with 594 runs is currently the top-scorer on the chart while skip Sharma has smashed as many as 503 runs upfront for Team India, placing him at the #4th spot as the leading run-scorer of 2023 ODI World Cup.
Virat and Rohit scores in ODI world Cup semifinals Virat Kohli Rohit sharma 9(21) in 2011, Not played 20111(13) in 2015 34(48) in 20151(6) in 2019 1(4) in 2019 Batting avg : 3.66 Batting avg: 17.50#INDvsNZ— light_tesukoo_mowa (@light_tesukoo) November 13, 2023
However, Sharma averages 17.5 in ODI World Cup semi-finals. Kohli a mere 3.66. Additionally, New Zealand extended India’s ICC trophy drought after beating them in the final of the inaugural World Test Championship two years later in 2021.
Stuffed with all these stats, rude memories, and just dreadful highlights of the past, the fans are nervous, to put it mildly.
The fans on the other end of the spectrum have come out full guns blazing in support of India. They hope that Sharma’s side will finally avenge the 2019 defeat.
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More specifically, Dhoni’s run out during the crucial stage of the chase, that has lived rent-free in the minds of every heartbroken fan ever since.
Fortunately for us, India spinner Kuldeep Yadav remains unfazed by the past records.
“The 2019 semifinals was four years ago,” Kuldeep told reporters after India defeated the Netherlands in Bengaluru on Sunday. “We have played a lot of bilateral series after that, so we know the conditions (in India) and so do they. Our preparation has been good and we have been able to play good cricket throughout the tournament.”