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India Will Be Nervous Facing New Zealand In Semi-Final Again: Ross Taylor-TGN

Former New Zealand captain and batting great Ross Taylor reckons India would be “nervous” in facing New Zealand in a World Cup semi-final again.

For the second consecutive ODI World Cup tournament, India and New Zealand will meet in the semi-final. Four years ago in Manchester, the Kiwis had given a major heartbreak to India and their over a billion fans, the scars of which are still there. Rohit Sharma’s team has a massive opportunity to bury those pains once and for all in Mumbai when the two teams meet on Wednesday for the first semi-final of World Cup 2023.

Ross Taylor drew parallels of this match to the one four years ago. He pointed out that India were the table-toppers in 2019 World Cup as well, and New Zealand had sneaked in at the 4th position ahead of Pakistan on NRR, as they did this time too. Although Ross Taylor admitted that India are the favorites, he reckons Rohit’s team would be nervous in meeting the Kiwis in a semi-final again.

“As New Zealand prepares to take on India in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 semi-finals, it is impossible not to look back at the parallels with 2019,” Taylor told ICC.

“Four years ago, India went into the semi-final as the form side in the tournament, while we were more focused on ensuring our net run rate would keep Pakistan out of reach for the final spot in the top four. This time around, India are even bigger favourites, at home and have played so well during the group stage. But when we have nothing to lose, New Zealand teams can be dangerous. If there is a team that India will be nervous facing, it will be this New Zealand side.”

New Zealand need to make inroads and put the middle order under pressure: Ross Taylor

Ross Taylor, who is New Zealand’s all-time leading ODI run-scorer, and who also featured in that semi-final four years ago, feels that India still continues to rely heavily on their top 3. India have won all their 9 league matches in the World Cup 2023.

Taylor opined that one way to defeat India in this tournament would be to take out their top three inside the first 10 overs and put pressure on the middle order, as the New Zealand bowlers did in the 2019 semi-final.

“The toss is important but if New Zealand can start well with bat and ball, that will give them a lot of confidence to stay in the fight. The first ten overs in both innings are crucial. When India are batting, you want to get them two or three down in the first ten overs to put them under pressure. They rely heavily on an excellent top three.

“There is Shubman Gill, the number one player in the world, and then Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. We need to try to make inroads and put the middle order under pressure,” Taylor asserted.

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