posted on 2019-07-08 14:53:14
posted by Michael Harrison
During the warm-up game between India and New Zealand prior to the tournament, Trent Boult produced a masterclass of swing bowling to skittle out India, therebye setting up a crushing win for the Kiwis. It wasn't the first time that the left-arm pacer had troubled this particular opposition, given the troubles he had caused earlier in the year when India toured New Zealand.
Generally, Boult has had a very good time against India in ODIs, irrespective of the conditions on offer. It could be due to Virat Kohli's men being usually a bit suspect against left-arm pace bowling and of course, susceptible to quality swing bowling like most modern day batting line-ups are.
With Shikhar Dhawan not playing, Boult has the advantage to start against two right-handers, both of whom are vulnerable against the inswinging delivery due to their minor technical deficiencies. Rohit has been in tremendous form no doubt but the pressure of a semifinal and the threat of Boult getting it to curve early on, will surely be a big test for him.
India have generally been slow starters as far as the first Powerplay is concerned and with the danger Boult may create, that might have to be pattern. In the matches after Dhawan's exit, Rohit has taken up an aggressive role, the one that his former partner used to do, thereby allowing Rahul to settle into his job.
That method will have to be binned, particularly if there is some movement early on at Old Trafford. New Zealand's best chance of winning the game will be if they can nip out early wickets, possibly with a morning start to boot. And this is where Boult becomes a hugely decisive factor. How India deal with him shall set the tone in this high-pressure game.