New Zealand great Ross Taylor explains why India will be ‘nervous’ ahead of Cricket World Cup semi-final

New Zealand and India meet in Mumbai in the first World Cup semi-final

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India are favourites heading into their Cricket World Cup semi-final against New Zealand but the hosts will be nervous about facing a side who are at their most dangerous when they have nothing to lose, former Black Caps skipper Ross Taylor said.

Taylor was part of the New Zealand team that dashed India’s hopes in the 2019 semi-final at Old Trafford and the 39-year-old backed them to cause another upset in Mumbai on Wednesday that would send them into a third consecutive final.

“Four years ago India went into the semi-final in Manchester as the form side in the tournament while we were more focused on ensuring our net run-rate would keep Pakistan out of reach for the final spot in the top four,” Taylor wrote in his ICC column.

“This time around, India are even bigger favourites, at home and having played so well during the group stage.

“But when we have nothing to lose, New Zealand teams can be dangerous. If there is a team that India will be nervous facing, it will be this New Zealand side.”

India are the only side to win all nine of their group matches this year, including a four-wicket victory over New Zealand in Dharamsala, but Taylor said conditions would be different at the batter-friendly Wankhede Stadium.

“When India are batting, you want to get them two or three down in the first 10 overs to put them under pressure. They rely heavily on an excellent top three,” Taylor said.

“There’s Shubman Gill, the number one player in the world, and then Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. We need to try to make inroads and put the middle-order under pressure.

“If you can do that, it stifles them and affects how early they can assert their dominance.

“When they’re bowling, it’s similar. You want to score runs but it’s also vital we keep wickets in hand against weapons like Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj and Mohammed Shami.”


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