Hardik Pandya Out, R Ashwin In; New Vice-Captain: India’s XI vs. New Zealand

India's XI vs. New Zealand
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India’s XI vs. New Zealand: In the highly anticipated fifth match of the 2023 World Cup, India is set to clash with New Zealand, with the coveted top spot in the points table hanging in the balance. Both teams have maintained a flawless record, each triumphing in all four of their previous matches. As it currently stands, New Zealand holds the pole position due to their superior Net Run Rate (NRR), while India sits closely behind in second place.

India’s XI vs. New Zealand

Key Player Absences

India’s XI vs. New Zealand, Unfortunately, both sides will be deprived of the services of at least one pivotal player. India’s Hardik Pandya, who sustained an ankle injury while bowling against Bangladesh, will not be part of the squad for the Dharamsala encounter. Nevertheless, he is expected to rejoin the team before their fixture against England in Lucknow. New Zealand, on the other hand, will sorely miss their captain, Kane Williamson, who suffered a broken thumb. Although he won’t be available for several upcoming matches, he remains a part of the squad and will continue to travel with the team.

Match Venue and Timing

This high-stakes showdown is scheduled to take place at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Stadium, with a kick-off time of 2:00 PM IST.

India’s Probable Playing XI

In preparation for this crucial contest, let’s take a closer look at India’s likely playing XI:

Openers There’s little doubt regarding the opening pair; Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill are expected to continue their partnership at the top of the order. Both batsmen have delivered stellar performances in the World Cup, playing pivotal roles in India’s victories. Rohit’s aggressive intent and quick knocks have provided valuable support to the subsequent batsmen. He remains the linchpin for India’s chase.

Middle-order Virat Kohli, who recently notched an unbeaten century against Bangladesh, will be keen to carry his fine form into the match against New Zealand. Following Kohli, the middle-order is likely to feature Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul. With Pandya sidelined, Rahul could take on the role of vice-captain for the team.

All-rounders Shardul Thakur and Ravindra Jadeja are the two all-rounders expected to make the final XI. There seems to be no compelling reason for India to make any changes in this department, especially given Jadeja’s outstanding performance in the field during the Bangladesh match.

Bowlers Ravichandran Ashwin appears set to make his comeback to the playing XI, particularly given the success that spinners have enjoyed in Dharamsala. While Mohammed Shami is a viable option, India may opt for Ashwin in the Dharamsala conditions. The pace-bowling duties will be shared by Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, and Shardul Thakur, while Kuldeep Yadav is set to lead the spin attack.

India’s Probable Playing XI Against New Zealand:

  • Rohit Sharma (Captain)
  • Shubman Gill
  • Virat Kohli
  • Shreyas Iyer
  • KL Rahul (Vice-captain)
  • Shardul Thakur
  • Ravindra Jadeja
  • Ravichandran Ashwin
  • Jasprit Bumrah
  • Kuldeep Yadav
  • Mohammed Siraj

In this potential lineup, India aims to continue their World Cup campaign with a strong showing against New Zealand and secure the elusive top spot in the points table.

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