HomeCricketRahul Dravid inspects Wankhede pitch ahead of World Cup semifinal against New...

Rahul Dravid inspects Wankhede pitch ahead of World Cup semifinal against New Zealand | Cricket News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Keen on maintaining a flawless record in the World Cup, India’s coaching staff immediately got to work upon arriving in Mumbai for their crucial semifinal against New Zealand.
Head coach Rahul Dravid, along with batting coach Vikram Rathour, bowling coach Paras Mhambrey, and fielding coach T Dilip, inspected the pitch at Wankhede Stadium.
While India, unbeaten in the league stage, refrained from training after a convincing win over the Netherlands, New Zealand engaged in a three-hour session under lights to address recent flaws.
Despite a strong start with four consecutive wins, New Zealand’s momentum waned with several losses in their last five matches. Although they secured a semifinal spot with a win over Sri Lanka, the Kiwis face a formidable task against India’s dominant team.
Arriving a day earlier, New Zealand must elevate their intensity to match their relentless opponents. Despite being regular semifinalists in the ODI World Cup, the Kiwis grapple with issues of collective form, player injuries, and the absence of key contributors like Matt Henry.
Matt Henry, despite being ruled out of the tournament with a hamstring injury, made a significant contribution by taking 11 wickets in seven matches.
His replacement, Kyle Jamieson, joined the squad about 10 days ago and, although he didn’t play in the league stage, engaged in an extended bowling session on Monday to build on his preparation.
The focus of New Zealand’s training was on the batsmen, who had extensive net sessions and participated in a game of intra-squad football, followed by fielding and catching drills.
Top run-scorer Rachin Ravindra, along with captain Kane Williamson, opening partner Devon Conway, and Daryl Mitchell, had extended batting sessions.

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Fast bowlers Trent Boult, Tim Southee, and Lockie Ferguson also honed their skills in a bowling stint at the venue, where New Zealand is set to play their first game of the World Cup.
While Ravindra and Mitchell returned to the nets for bowling, Williamson spent a significant time shadow batting, closely monitoring the proceedings.
(With PTI inputs)

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