Another week of fantastic World Cup action ends with an intriguing match-up between two of the game's giants in India vs New Zealand.
The schedule has been strange for both of these sides. Whereas some teams have played three times already, this will only be both sides' second games. India have had to wait a whole week to retake the field following last week's defeat against Pakistan.
Pakistan are in complete control of this Super 12 group following victories over both of these sides, so it looks like both India and New Zealand will be battling it out for the second spot in the group. These two teams would have fancied themselves to advance out of the group, but a defeat here will leave both sides facing an uphill task to qualify for the semi-finals.
In a match that will be nervy, edgy, but exciting, it's India who are the favourites with the bookies at 1.44 with New Zealand priced at 2.75.
India vs New Zealand T20 World Cup
Team News for India
The cricketing world was stunned last week after India's 10 wicket defeat against Pakistan. Last Sunday's defeat was the first time that India lost to Pakistan in an ICC world cup, and it was a result that sent shock waves all over the world. India, who were the bookies' favourites at the start of the tournament, now know they need to win this match against a dogged and determined New Zealand side to avoid the prospect of an early exit.
In the defeat to Pakistan, India never really recovered from the loss of both openers, where they were reduced to 6/2. There was a typically determined batting display from captain Virat Kohli and flashes of flamboyance from Rishabh Pant, but there was a fear that the 151 they posted was never going to be quite enough. This proved true, as Pakistan chased down the total with just over two overs to go. None of India's bowlers could make a dent into Pakistan's batting line up with Mohammed Shami proving particularly expensive going for over 11 an over.
If India are to win this crucial encounter, they will need a good performance from star bowler Jasprit Bumrah, who can be backed at 2.75 to be his team's top bowling performer.
Likely playing 11 of India
Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah
Team News for New Zealand
New Zealand had a tough task assigned to them in their first game as they encountered a Pakistan team still riding the crest of a wave following their historic win over India.
Playing a side in conditions perfectly suited for them and in front of an army of their own fans, New Zealand struggled with the bat, only scoring 134.
In typical Kiwi fashion, they battled hard with the ball and, for a period, looked like they could pull off an improbable win; however, any faint hopes they had were swiftly ended when Asif Ali tucked into the bowling of Tim Southee and saw Pakistan home with an over still remaining.
New Zealand's batsmen were all guilty of not kicking on after making decent starts. Devon Conway, Daryl Mitchell, and captain Kane Williamson all scored in the 20s before succumbing. If they are to pull off the upset win, they will need one of their top-order batsmen to go on and score a decent total. Conway looked most at home in the conditions out of the three, and he can be backed at 4.50 to be his team's top scorer.
Likely playing 11 of New Zealand
Martin Guptill, Tim Seifert, Kane Williamson, Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Daryl Mitchell, Lockie Ferguson, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult
Pitch and Weather Conditions
India return to Dubai, where they experienced defeat to Pakistan; it's ironic that this is where the final will be played as for the loser of this match, the final will seem a long way off.
In total, there have been 65 T20 contests held at this stadium. There have been 34 games where the side batting first has won, and 31 games have been won by the side batting second. The average score for the first innings is 144, with the second innings average at 122. So far, during this World Cup, the team that has batted second has gone on to win the game.
This could be a contest where players struggle to find the middle of the bat and could be a contest where spin is key.
Betting Predictions for India vs New Zealand
Let's take a look at a few important betting predictions for India vs New Zealand:
Match Result Prediction
It's important to remember that despite India being the favourites for this match, the last two times that these sides have met in high-pressure situations like this, it's been New Zealand who have emerged victorious in both the semi-finals of the 50 over World Cup and final of the World Test Championship, this game will hold no fear for Kane Williamson or his men.
All the pressure is on India, and a defeat here will ultimately spell the end of the road for them.
It's easy to see why India are the favourites for this monumental match; they will have passionate home support, are playing in conditions they love and have a team of class players throughout their lineup. However, they will need to be much more solid in all three phases of the game if they are to win here.
We will back India to win; New Zealand have lost three T20 matches in a row, and question marks still linger over Kane Williamson's elbow. This is the platform for the best players to show what they are made of, and we think India's players will bounce back and show an adoring nation what they are truly made of.
Match Winner: India (1.44)
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Either team to win the toss can be backed at 1.91. On a pitch that could be very hard to bat on, the side that wins the toss will want to bat to make the most of the better batting conditions before scoring gets harder as the game goes on. Any score over 150 should be very hard to chase.
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Top Batsman for New Zealand
Kane Williamson rightly gets all of the plaudits for his batting as he is one of the best batsmen in the world; however, he heads into this match having to deflect fears over a lingering elbow issue.
In light of his injury, it might be worth backing another New Zealand batsman to top score for his team, and that man could be Glenn Phillips. Phillips is a relatively new name emerging on the scene, but he is a fine T20 player and is the power player that this New Zealand side very much looks towards.
Phillips has played 23 T20 Internationals and averages just over 27, and has one century to his name. Look to Phillips to dominate the Indian bowling, and at 7.00, he could be a great value play here to be his team's top run-scorer.
Top Batsman for New Zealand Glenn Phillips (7.00)
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