Dravid-Led coaching team analyses Wankhede Pitch as India Gears Up for showdown against New Zealand in World Cup semi-final

India's coaching staff, driven by the desire to uphold their flawless tournament record, promptly commenced their preparations.

Rahul Dravid in a file photo. (Image: Twitter)
By Omar | Nov 14, 2023 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Rahul Dravid and his coaching team, comprised of Vikram Rathour, Paras Mhambrey, and T Dilip, scrutinized the Wankhede Stadium pitch in anticipation of the India vs New Zealand World Cup semi-final. Upon their arrival in Mumbai on Monday afternoon, India’s coaching staff, driven by the desire to uphold their flawless tournament record, promptly commenced their preparations. Head coach Rahul Dravid led the team’s assessment of the Wankhede Stadium pitch, gearing up for the crucial semi-final clash against New Zealand, a team regarded as both rusty and formidable.

Despite the undefeated status of India, they opted not to engage in training on Monday, following their league stage campaign’s conclusion with a convincing 160-run victory over the Netherlands the previous night. In contrast, New Zealand undertook a three-hour training session under lights, striving to rectify recent shortcomings and enhance their overall performance.

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While New Zealand’s initial four consecutive victories issued a warning to other World Cup teams, a series of losses in their last five matches somewhat dampened their momentum. Despite the setbacks, their triumph over Sri Lanka secured a spot in the semi-finals, setting the stage for a challenging encounter with the formidable Indian team.

Arriving in the city a day ahead of their semi-final rivals, New Zealand faces the task of intensifying their preparations. Despite being regular participants in ODI World Cup semi-finals, the Kiwis have grappled with challenges such as collective form, player injuries, and the loss of key contributors like Matt Henry, sidelined due to a hamstring injury. Henry’s impactful performance, claiming 11 wickets in seven matches, prompted his replacement by Kyle Jamieson, who, despite being part of the pre-tournament series, did not feature in the league stage.

Jamieson, eager to build on his workload, extended his bowling stint during Monday’s preparations. The primary focus was on the batsmen, engaging in extensive net sessions and participating in intra-squad football. Among the leading run-scorers in the tournament, Rachin Ravindra had a productive net session alongside captain Kane Williamson, opening partner Devon Conway, and Daryl Mitchell.

Fast bowlers Trent Boult, Tim Southee, and Lockie Ferguson also participated in a bowling session at Wankhede Stadium, where New Zealand is slated to play their inaugural World Cup game. Subsequent to the practice, Ravindra and Mitchell returned to the nets for bowling, while Williamson dedicated a significant amount of time to shadow batting outside one of the nets, closely observing the proceedings.

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