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The Cricket Badger India V New Zealand

The Cricket Badger India V NZ World Cup Semi Final Preview

The Cricket Badger India V New Zealand

Listen to the Preview

00:00 / 08:33

The Cricket World Cup semi-finals are upon us and the first semi-final sees India, the host, taking on New Zealand, the beating finalists in 2019. In India, 100% through the group stages, they've topped the group stage for the third consecutive Cricket World Cup and they've been the best team in the tournament, but in the last two World Cups they didn't win the trophy.

This is a repeat of the 2019 Cricket World Cup semi-final where New Zealand shocked India over two days, rain affected at Old Trafford and the problem for India potentially is that none of their nine group stage matches count for anything in a one-off knockout match. The advantage though is that they've been absolutely brilliant through the group stage, they come in with heaps of confidence and they rightly start as hot favourites ahead of the semi-final. The Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai is a high-scoring venue so don't expect a low-scoring affair and India come into the match with all of their batters in form.

Also, they've pretty much got the best bowling attack in the tournament too, so everything is stacked towards India. 1.4 billion people in the country will be locked on this game. Can they step up when the pressure is really on? 4-11 or thereabouts on an Indian win is a pretty safe bet, but no such thing exists in sport.

We've all seen upsets in the past and to be honest, New Zealand beating India wouldn't be the biggest upset in the world because New Zealand come in with plenty of confidence as well, but as I've been saying to the Indian fan badgers on the Cricket Badger Podcast throughout this entire tournament, probably with a little bit of tongue-in-cheek at times just to wind them up, will India reserve their dodgy performance for a day where there are no second chances? For New Zealand, they started well, they then had a little bit of a drop-off in the middle and then they came back strongly towards the end of the group stage to book their place in the semi-finals and they've got some players in form as well. Rachin Ravindra has been the breakout star of the Cricket World Cup. 565 runs, it's the ninth highest tally in any Cricket World Cup history and if he scores 14 or more in the semi-final, he'll become the most prolific Cricket World Cup New Zealander of all time.

Nice story about Rachin Ravindra. His father was a big Indian supporter from Bangalore originally. He was a big fan of Satchin, a big fan of Rahul Dravid.

You take the ra out of Rahul, you take the chin out of Satchin and you call your son Rachin Ravindra. Kane Williamson looks to be fit again. He is their Rolls Royce of a player.

250s in the tournament in three matches. Darrell Mitchell has been splendid throughout with plenty of runs from him. Devon Conway, the opener that will partner Rachin Ravindra at the top of the order, has been a little bit hit and miss.

He needs to perform if New Zealand are going to land a blow on the Indian hosts in this semi-final. New Zealand, they're 13-5 to win this semi-final. Now, do you take that? Well, you only take that, I think, if you've already got India on your betting slip to win the competition because New Zealand could derail them in this semi-final.

I think if you're new to it, I'd stay clear of the outright markets and find some value further down the bookies consoles. But if you're tempted to take an outright play on either side, wait until after the toss. You'll have 30 minutes to place your bet and batting first in this Cricket World Cup has become more of a thing as the tournament has progressed.

The dew falls at the start of the chasers' innings. It gives the bowlers a real chance to maybe just move the ball around for 15 overs. That can be enough just to derail the top order and to get yourself in a very strong position in the match.

So, if New Zealand win the toss bat first, that might be the time to get on the Kiwis to cause the upset. And if they're going to do that, there's two key wickets that they need. I mean, they're all key wickets in the India top order.

But Rohit Sharma, he has been absolutely magnificent. The captain has come in as opener, has really strode on from the front, been really dominant at the top of the order. And Virat Kohli is currently the highest scoring batter in the entire tournament.

594 runs for the former India captain and he has been absolutely magnificent. So, if they're going to try and get rid of Kohli, 594 runs as I say, Rohit Sharma 503 runs, they need to get those two wickets early. And like in any big match, India need their stellar players to really step up where it counts.

Kohli is averaging 99 in this tournament and you'll find worse bets here for the top India run scorer. He seems to be revelling in a home Cricket World Cup. And for Virat Kohli to be the highest scorer in this match, it's a 5-1 shot Rohit, it's 11-2.

You could take both of those with a 50% stake and you've got the two best batters in this match on your side at the start of the game. Rajin Ravindra, he's 12-1 for New Zealand to be the leading scorer in the match. He's maybe worth a little bit of a punt as well because he has been absolutely brilliant.

The Indian crowds love him because of his roots. According to journalists out there, there's been a few locals saying, we used to live next to us until he was eight years old. He's one of our own.

He was actually born in New Zealand. He just has the heritage from India. Another way into this one is for India to score the most sixes.

If they are going to be dominant, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadajar even further down the order, Shreyas Iyer has been hitting sixes left, right and centre. That might be worth a look. India to score the most sixes in this match is an 8-11 shot.

But India have to be careful. They've won four, lost five against New Zealand in Cricket World Cups. India recorded the most sixes in eight of their nine league stage matches.

And when they played against New Zealand, the only other time it was actually level on sixes. So India, 8-11 to score the most sixes in this match. With Pally Power and Betfair, you can get Virat Kohli to be the clear top Indian run scorer, 16-5.

Devon Conway to be the clear top New Zealand run scorer, 7-2. Couldn't put you off either of those two either. And as I said at the start, the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, it's a high scoring track.

For a player to score 800 in the first innings, it's 4-6. Odds on, I like that bet too. There's a couple of nice, interesting little match-ups in this match as well.

Since 2021, Virat Kohli's averaged 21 against left arm spinners. Mitchell Santners having a tremendous Cricket World Cup for New Zealand. So that'll be an interesting contest.

And Trent Boult, the left arm swinger for New Zealand who caused such mayhem at Old Trafford four years ago. So Rohit Sharma in ODIs, he's fought from 107 from 156 balls bowled. So New Zealand will be hoping he can get the Indian captain out early.

So there's a few interesting bets in this first semi-final. I'm struggling to find the value on the outrights. I'm struggling to go away from the favourites really in terms of the top bowler, top batter markets as well.

So I'm going to go towards the player of the match markets. Generally, 99% of the time comes from the team that wins. The team that wins should be India.

And India have a few contenders here. If they're going to put in a good performance and get themselves through to the final. Virat Kohli's 7-1, Rohit Sharma's 8-1, Shubman Gill's 9-1.

But Jasprit Bumrah, he for me is the best-paced bowler in world cricket. This is his home ground for the Mumbai Indians. And despite not really taking or feeling like he's taken millions of wickets in this tournament, he's still got 17 to his name so far, just five behind Adam Zampa, who's leading the tournament stats.

And I think this could be Jasprit's day. So my best bet in this Cricket World Cup semi-final is for Jasprit Bumrah to take loads of wickets, lead India into the semi-finals. He's a 10-1 shot to lift the player of the match market.

Good luck with all of your bets. Make sure you gamble responsibly. Enjoy the cricket out there, Badgers.

I've been James Butler for the Cricket Badger Podcast and on this special for Betting Radio.

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