India v New Zealand: Kohli and Williamson to meet again in World Cup showdown

By Sports Desk July 08, 2019

Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson will reignite an old rivalry when India and New Zealand face off in the Cricket World Cup semi-finals on Tuesday.

The duo first played against each in 2007, before captaining their respective countries in an Under-19 World Cup semi-final in Malaysia a year later.

Kohli came out on top in that encounter, dismissing Williamson in a three-wicket victory for India.

Kohli and Williamson have since scored 33,840 international runs and 99 centuries between them, and now they go head to head for a place in Sunday's final against Australia or hosts England.

While India have relied mainly on Rohit Sharma - the leading scorer at the World Cup with 647, including five centuries - for their runs, Williamson was in fine form for New Zealand earlier in the tournament and has the best batting average at 96.20.

However, the Black Caps lost their last three group-stage games against Pakistan, Australia and England and only qualified for the final four on net run rate.

With the sides yet to play each other in this tournament due to their June 13 fixture being rained off, New Zealand - beaten finalists in 2015 - may have their work cut out to progress against 2011 champions India, who have won seven matches in the competition and are hot favourites to triumph at Old Trafford.

 

TOURNAMENT SO FAR

A 31-run defeat to England is all that mars a perfect record for India, and with Rohit in devastating form with the bat they would certainly be worthy finalists.

New Zealand looked on course to cruise into the last four after winning five straight games, but they lost their way towards the end of the group stage and were fortunate Pakistan did not click into gear until late on.

 

WHAT THEY SAID

India captain Kohli on his reunion with Williamson: "I'll remind Kane [about 2008], I'm sure he remembers. It is quite a nice thing to realise that 11 years later we are captaining our respective nations again in a senior World Cup from Under-19s."

Black Caps skipper Williamson: "I think for everybody it sort of starts fresh tomorrow after what was a very tough round-robin stage, and we were certainly expecting that it would be tough. It's just a great occasion to be a part of. I know the guys are really excited by the opportunity to go out and try to play with that freedom that when we do gives us the best chance."

 

OPTA FACTS

- There have been seven completed matches between India and New Zealand in World Cup history - the Black Caps have edged it so far with four wins.
- India have recorded six victories in their last seven ODIs against New Zealand.
- New Zealand have reached the semi-final stage of the World Cup for the fourth time in succession, though they are yet to win the competition.

Related items

  • Rugby World Cup 2019: All Blacks name strongest side for Ireland quarter-final Rugby World Cup 2019: All Blacks name strongest side for Ireland quarter-final

    The New Zealand All Blacks are fully fit and have named their strongest possible squad for Saturday's Rugby World Cup quarter-final.

    The defending champions rotated their squad for what proved to be their final two pool games against Canada and Namibia, with the final game against Italy abandoned due to Typhoon Hagibis.

    All Blacks coach Steve Hansen makes one change to the pack which started the first pool game against South Africa with Brodie Retallick back from a dislocated shoulder to replace Scott Barrett.

    There's also a change in the back line from that 23-13 win over the Springboks in Yokohama as Jack Goodhue earns a recall, with Anton Lienert-Brown switching to inside centre and Ryan Crotty missing out altogether.

    Skipper Kieran Read returns from a rest against Namibia to earn his 125th cap.

    Hansen said he had a full squad of players to choose from for Saturday, as excitement builds for the clash in Tokyo.

    "This is a great reflection on the players themselves and the staff who have done a great job getting them through the pool phase of the tournament," he said.

    "We are very happy with where the team is at, at this stage, and it feels like the team is where it needs to be for [a] physical and fiercely fought encounter.

    "There's a lot of energy and excitement in the team which is normal for this stage of the tournament where the winner takes all. It will add extra pressure to both sides."

    The winner of the England-Australia quarter-final earlier in the day awaits the winner of New Zealand and Ireland.

    All Blacks: Beauden Barrett, Sevu Reece, Jack Goodhue, Anton Lienert-Brown, George Bridge, Richie Mo'unga, Aaron Smith; Joe Moody, Codie Taylor, Nepo Laulala, Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock, Ardie Savea, Sam Cane, Kieran Read.

    Replacements: Dane Coles, Ofa Tuungafasi, Angus Ta'avao, Scott Barrett, Matt Todd, TJ Perenara, Sonny Bill Williams, Jordie Barrett.
     

  • Gus Logie appointed interim head coach for West Indies Women's team Gus Logie appointed interim head coach for West Indies Women's team

    Former West Indies batsman Gus Logie has been named the Interim Head Coach of the West Indies Women’s Team. Cricket West Indies has also appointed a new team manager.

  • Gayle not 'available' for Afghanistan series but chief selector Harper insists focus to be on youngsters Gayle not 'available' for Afghanistan series but chief selector Harper insists focus to be on youngsters

    Newly appointed Windies chairman of selectors Roger Harper confirmed veteran batsman Chris Gayle was unavailable for the upcoming series against Afghanistan but suggested the panel would focus on younger talent going forward.

    Speculation has continued to surround the future of the star batsman after he announced plans to retire, following the ICC World Cup earlier this year.  The 40-year-old, however, appeared to have a change of heart and went on to claim that the team's series again India, following the cricketing showpiece, would instead be his final. 

    Controversy, however, erupted with many suggesting the batsman should hang up his tips and allow for the development of younger players.  Following the series against India, Gayle was again quick to insist that he was in no hurry to retire.  With young openers like Evin Lewis and Brandon King included in the squad, Harper suggested it was time to give younger players an opportunity to showcase their skills.

    “Gayle told us he is unavailable for Afghanistan Series, but we all know Chris, he is a world-class player with a tremendous record and of course it’s difficult to replace Chris Gayle,” Harper explained.

    "But I think going forward it is in a way an opportunity for young players to showcase their skills and make a name for themselves as we look ahead to the next two T20 World Cups in 2020 and 2021 and the future.”

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.