Sunil Gavaskar column: It will be interesting to see how Boult bowls to Rohit

New Zealand left-arm pace bowler Trent Boult. (Reuters file)
New Zealand left-arm pace bowler Trent Boult. (Reuters file)

In the game against Pakistan, Kane Williamson seemed to have erred in not giving the new ball to Boult

By Sunil Gavaskar

Published: Sun 31 Oct 2021, 11:20 AM

Last updated: Sun 31 Oct 2021, 11:37 AM

Is it going to be make-or-break for India and New Zealand when they clash on Sunday? The answer in normal circumstances would be, yes. Both teams have lost to Pakistan and so both know that to qualify for the semifinals they have to win when they play each other. However, they must not take their eyes off the road as Afghanistan could be a tricky team.

We have seen how close they came to winning against table-toppers Pakistan. They have played some spirited cricket and are growing in confidence with every game they play so they are certainly a team that can upset the apple cart.

India got a whole week off after the dispiriting loss to Pakistan and hopefully, any brooding would have been replaced by a fierce desire to come back stronger and get into the semifinals. They have a top-class team and like any top sportsperson can have a bad day. They had theirs against Pakistan.

They wouldn't be looking to make too many changes after a defeat for that is a sure sign of panic and frankly, there is no need for that. The only concern would be the shoulder injury to Hardik Pandya and he is reported to have bowled a few deliveries in the nets which encourages the belief that he could be the sixth bowler if required in the team.

While stats point out that India’s record against New Zealand is nothing much to rave about, the series in New Zealand last year showed that the Indians had got over those issues and had won handsomely even in the two super overs of that series.

What will be interesting to see is how Trent Boult bowls to Rohit Sharma. In the game against Pakistan Kane Williamson seemed to have erred in not giving the new ball to Boult. The white ball swings and seams for barely a few overs and your best bowler has to be given the hard new ball and not brought on after a few overs have been bowled.

The dew factor is a concern, of course, and that's why the approach whether batting or bowling in the power play could well be the deciding factor in the game. (TCM)

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