Thursday’s action in the ICC Cricket World Cup comes from Trent Bridge, Nottingham and it promises to be a cracker between two unbeaten sides, India and New Zealand.
India have played two matches so far and they impressed in winning both.
They had to wait until Match 8 for their first action of the tournament and they obliged for favourite backers with a 6 wicket victory over South Africa at Southampton with Rohit Sharma’s unbeaten 122 helping them chase down a below par 228 for victory.
On Sunday India came up against Australia at The Oval and they came out on top by 36 runs. India won what many perceived to be a crucial toss, Kohli opted to bat first and India piled on 352/5. Shikhar Dhawan top scored with 117, sharing an opening partnership of 127 with Rohit Sharma (57). Virat Kohli made 82 and Hardik Pandya a quickfire 48 as India posted a very hefty 352/5.
Although Australia’s top order all made runs India kept the run rate below what was required and Australia’s innings closed on 316. Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3/50), Jasprit Bumrah (3/66) and Yuzvendra Chahal (2/62) were amongst the wickets.
India are now trading at 5/2 second favourites to win the tournament, 8/10 to reach the final and 1/12 to reach the semi finals.
Rohit Sharma is leading run scorer for India with 179, Shikhar Dhawan has made 125 and Virat Kohli has 100. With the ball Chahal has taken 6 wickets whilst Kumar and Bumrah have 5.
This was how India lined up against Australia on Sunday.
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (capt), Lokesh Rahul, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah
New Zealand made it 3 wins from 3 with a comfortable 7 wicket victory over Afghanistan at Taunton on Saturday. James Neesham took 5 wickets and Lockie Ferguson 4 as Afghanistan collapsed from 66/1 to 172 all out. Martin Guptill went first ball but Kane Williamson (79 not out) and 48 from Ross Taylor ensured the Black caps got the job done.
In earlier results New Zealand started their campaign with a 10 wicket hiding of Sri Lanka in Cardiff but they had to work pretty hard to chase down Bangladesh’s total of 244 at the Oval next time out, eventually getting up for a 2 wicket victory.
New Zealand can be backed at 8/1 to win the tournament, 2/1 to reach the final and 8/15 to reach the semi’s.
Ross Taylor is top run scorer for New Zealand with 130, Kane Williamson has 109, Colin Munro 104 and Martin Guptill 98. With the ball Lockie Ferguson has taken 8 wickets, Matt Henry has 7 and James Neesham has 6.
This was how New Zealand lined up against Afghanistan.
Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (capt), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult
Head to Head
The teams have met 106 times with India winning 55, New Zealand have won 45 with 1 tie and 5 no results,
The teams met in New Zealand in Jan / Feb of this year and India dominated the series to come away with a 4-1 victory.
The Betting, Click here for all markets
New Zealand 18/10
Note prices quoted are correct at the time of publication but are subject to change.
India look a very different proposition to the teams New Zealand have faced so far. Kohli and his side were mightily impressive in the victory over Australia, a result and performance which saw their odds to win the tournament cut significantly.
Aside from a bit of wobble in the batting against Bangladesh New Zealand have done little wrong and they have been bowling team out even though Trent Boult, their main weapon with the ball, has struggled for wickets. This game will tell us much more about their overall chances.
For a bet I’ll look to Kane Williamson to beat his current Player Performance quote of over 45.5 points. The NZ skipper will be a key man here; he made his first sizeable score of the tournament last time out and is generally a safe pair of hands so with 1 point awarded per run and 10 per catch he gets the vote to play a big role.
Player Performance, Kane Williamson over 45.5 points at 9/10
Remember you can have your own say on all this week’s matches on our discussion forum