When it comes to India v New Zealand betting, there’s only one smart choice…and it’s not India.

 

India v New Zealand Betting: Kiwis hit the ground running

 

Of the four semi-finalists at the Cricket World Cup, New Zealand are in many ways the most interesting.

Australia had an excellent Group Stage, coming up short against an Indian side in full flow when they were still warming up and suffering a narrow defeat to a South African side who finally played with some freedom.

England started strongly, stuttered and then recovered admirably when the pressure was on. Jason Roy had a lot to do with that.

As for India, they were good all the way through. There was a poor performance against Afghanistan that almost resulted in one of the biggest upsets ever in a World Cup (they won anyway) and a defeat to England that was very much on a bat-first pitch; not many sides would have chased that big a total on the day, if any.

New Zealand’s journey was very different. They racked up a load of wins, were fortunate that their game against India was rained off and then lost three in a row. It was that loss of momentum, not to mention the manner of the defeats, which has left them in many ways as the odd one out of the last four still standing. After all, there’s not much to choose between the other three in the betting for outright glory: India are 2.8, England 3.0 and Australia 3.8.  New Zealand…are out at 9.5. All prices with Betway.

 

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But should the Black Caps be dismissed as no-hopers that way?

 

Glass half-empty

 

They failed to beat any of the other three semi-finalists.  Instead, they beat the weaker sides, in part benefiting from the fact that they went into the tournament well prepared and hit the ground running while the likes of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka took time to find their feet, their best XI and the tactics that worked best for them. In other words, they were sort of playground bullies.

Their opening partnership has been a disaster. Colin Munro was so out of form he was dropped. Martin Guptill is averaging 23. He’s been finding increasingly interesting ways to get out.  He also seems to be looking for an all-time record on the number of times he can get out caught down the legside.

Tom Latham, despite a very impressive 57 against England, has been equally poor. Even Ross Taylor has been quiet. 261 runs at an average of 37 isn’t disastrous but it’s far below the standards of a player who was right up there with the two or three most in-form batsmen in the world going into the tournament.

 

 

Mitchell Santner, who can be effective on his day but is limited in terms of the number of shots he plays and scoring areas, is probably a place too high at eight. We could go on.

 

Glass half-full

 

To an extent…none of the above matters. If you had to pick one of the three to play against, there’s not much in it. Are India that much stronger than say England? Are they stronger at all? So does it matter at all that New Zealand finished below the other three in the Group Stages?

Of course, the form of their batsmen in such key positions is a worry. It’s impossible to argue that you’re better off going into a semi with players out of form than seeing and hitting the ball nicely.

But again, that may not matter either.

The point about all this is that once you get to the semis, all teams are equal in that they’re just one match away from the final. What happened before doesn’t matter that much.

There’s some good news for New Zealand, too. Lockie Ferguson, their top wicket-taker with 17, is fit again after a hamstring problem. His pace up top, and so sorely missed, could make a huge difference.

Let’s talk India v New Zealand betting, then.

 

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India v New Zealand Betting: Rain, DLS and other factors all play into the Black Caps’ hands

 

Then there’s the rain. It is Manchester, after all. There’s rain forecast for both Tuesday and Wednesday, the reserve day. For the record, if the match isn’t completed across the two days, India would go through because they finished higher in the Group Stages. So yes, in that sense I suppose the Group Stages did matter. But it’s pretty unlikely that we can’t get 100 overs in across two days or alternatively, a result thanks to Duckworth-Lewis-Stern.

So it’s worth thinking about how the rain might affect each team’s chances. If it’s cold, grey, drizzling, where does that sound more like: Wellington or Mumbai?

 

And if India are justified favourites at just 1.3 based on being the better side across a full 100 over game, then who is most likely to benefit from a) a reduction in overs and b) disruption in the game from one or more various rain breaks? The answer has to be…New Zealand. Remember the 2015 semi-final against South Africa that was reduced in overs and had several rain breaks? They won that.

And what about India themselves? We all know about Rohit Sharma and his five centuries in eight matches. We also know what Virat Kohli can do on any given day. Or how well Jasprit Bumrah can bowl at the death, or how much turn Yuzvendra Chala might get at Old Trafford if it’s a spinner’s wicket.

What we don’t know is if Mohammad Shami can defend 12 off the last over if needed. Or if MS Dhoni can roll back the years to score 50 off 30. Or if India have a Plan B if Sharma gets out early. Or if Rishabh Pant has the maturity and patience to score 60 off 90 if need be, rather than 25 off 20?

Or what their own plan is regarding how to get Kane Williamson out.

It all means that New Zealand have to be the selection in the India v New Zealand betting heat  at 3.5 with Betfair Sportsbook. You could argue there’s some value in that price as a one-off in ‘normal ’circumstances, this being a one-off ODI. Add in the rain and everything else and it looks an even better price.

 

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