Rohit Sharma-led Team India have been a dominating force in the World Cup, beating every opponent they’ve faced so far in the tournament. However, a stern test awaits for the Men In Blue as they meet familiar rivals New Zealand in the first semi-final, which will be played at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on Wednesday.
Although the Men In Blue have defeated New Zealand earlier in the tournament, the Black Caps have a history of defeating India at the major ICC events. They had knocked India out of the World Cup in the previous edition and denied India of yet another ICC trophy two years later.
While history does incline towards New Zealand, Rohit affirmed that the focus is on the present and making things better. “Half of the guys were not even born when we won our first World Cup (1983) and then when we won our second World Cup (2011), half of the guys were not even playing the game. For us, the current crop of players are very much into what can happen today. I don’t see them talking about how we won the last World Cup or the first. The focus is on how they can get better and what are the things they need to improve. The focus is always on the present,” the Indian skipper shared when asked to comment on India’s history against the Black Caps.
If we look at the current form, India does appear favourites heading into the clash. While India have maintained a winning run on their course to the semi-final, New Zealand almost lost the spot after enduring four losses on the trot. However, they eventually sealed the fourth and final spot after defeating Sri Lanka by five wickets in their last league match.
Rachin Ravindra has been the brightest star for New Zealand and has found good support from Daryl Mitchell. India, on the other hand, have been boosted by a combined effort by the entire unit and will hope for a similar show on Wednesday.