India captain Rohit Sharma will be leading the team in the noisy cauldron of the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday in one of the most important matches in his ODI career: the World Cup 2023 semi-final against New Zealand in Mumbai.
It’s against a familiar foe – New Zealand, who have given the Indian fans some scars in recent times.
Over the past few years, India have suffered three heart-breaking losses in ICC tournaments to New Zealand – the 2019 World Cup semi-final, 2021 T20 World Cup group match which led to India’s ouster in the group-stage, and the 2021 WTC Final.
Although Rohit Sharma’s team defeated New Zealand earlier in this tournament in Dharamsala, the semi-final bout brings with it immense pressure, more so of being the home team from whom now there are huge expectations given India won all the 9 group-stage matches.
Captain Rohit Sharma has been leading from the front with the bat in his new aggressive template in the World Cup 2023. At the end of the league stage, Rohit is the 4th highest run-scorer, having cracked 503 runs at a terrific strike rate of 121 – no batsman in the tournament so far has scored over 400 runs and at a higher strike rate than Rohit’s.
Rohit Sharma ODI stats and numbers against New Zealand:
In 26 ODI innings against New Zealand, Rohit Sharma has scored 935 runs at an average of 37 with 2 centuries and 5 fifties. In the league stage match in Dharamsala, Rohit whacked 46 runs in 40 balls, and took down the likes of Matt Henry and Trent Boult, setting up the platform for Virat Kohli to take India home in the run-chase of 274 runs.
Earlier this year, Rohit plundered a century against the Kiwis in Indore, while Shubman Gill smashed a double century in Hyderabad.
Rohit Sharma, however, would have terrible memories of the heartbreaking loss in the 2019 WC semi-final in Manchester, where he was dismissed for only 1 run in 4 balls by Matt Henry.
And even though there is no Matt Henry for the semi-final, as he’s ruled out due to an injury, Rohit Sharma will have to be wary of the new-ball spells from Trent Boult and Tim Southee, with Lockie Ferguson to follow.