Former Indian fast bowler S Sreesanth feels it could be a one-sided match if India bowls second in the first semifinal against New Zealand. India’s seamers have been right on the money in the Powerplay overs as they have got the ball to swing both ways.
India has taken 86 wickets in the nine matches and they have bowled out the opposition on seven out of the nine occasions. Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohammed Shami have breathed down the neck of the opposition with their accurate line and length.
In the ongoing ODI showpiece, Shami has scalped 16 wickets in five matches at an impressive average of 9.56 and has an economy rate of 4.78. He is India’s leading wicket-taker in the tournament despite playing only five matches.
Furthermore, Jasprit Bumrah has bagged 17 wickets at an impressive average of 15.64 in nine matches of the tournament. Moreover, Mohammed Siraj has picked 12 wickets in nine games.
While speaking to Sportskeeda, S Sreesanth said, “I feel it could be a one-sided match if our seamers bowl under lights – if Shami, Siraj and Bumrah bowl well. I won’t be easy, but if they use the seam position with the new ball, it won’t be easy for them [New Zealand]. Just in case New Zealand bat first, India must bowl them out inside 300. On Mumbai wickets, such scores can be chased.”
“India should bat first if they win the toss. It depends on the wicket as well. If it’s a flat track then we should definitely bat first. When we won the World Cup in 1983, we bowled second. In 2011, when we won the World Cup at Wankhede, we batted second. It’s a bit tricky, but I feel we should win the toss and bat first and put up a big score on the board,” Sreesanth commented.
Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja have snared 14 and 16 wickets respectively in the ongoing ODI showpiece. The spin duo has done a fine job in the middle overs and Sreesanth reckons it will not be easy for New Zealand batters to tackle Indian spinners.
“It would be interesting to see if they prepare a patta (flat) wicket or a turner. Yes, New Zealand have a good spinner in [Mitchell] Santner, but we play spin well. New Zealand batters won’t find it easy to tackle our spinners Kuldeep [Yadav[ and [Ravindra] Jadeja on a turning track,” the former pacer opined.
The first semifinal will be played between India and New Zealand at the Wankhede Stadium, in Mumbai on Wednesday.