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ICC World Cup 2023: India vs New Zealand – SWOT Analysis of Team India

#CWC23 | Ahead of the much-awaited #INDvsNZ semi-final, let us have a look at SWOT analysis of #IndianCricketTeam.

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World Cup
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India and New Zealand will meet in the first semifinal of the 2023 ICC World Cup on Wednesday, 15 November, with a place in the final of the event on the line.

As the teams gear up for the big match, which is a repeat of their clash in the semifinal stage in 2019 at Manchester. The BlackCaps defeated India four years back to reach the final of the mega event. 

On the eve of their biggest clash in 50-overs cricket in recent history, here's a SWOT analysis of India:

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Winners of the title in 1983 and 2011, India are firm favourites on current form as they return to the venue in which they scripted a memorable triumph against Sri Lanka in the 2011 final. 

Strengths

The well-balanced side at the disposal of skipper Rohit Sharma is in top form and has won a record nine games in a row to make it to the knockout round as the first-ranked team in the points table. Their batters are in great form – especially Virat Kohli (594), skipper Rohit Sharma (503 runs), Shreyas Iyer (421) and K.L Rahul (347).

The Indian bowlers have been a revelation. Despite losing pace-bowling allrounder Hardik Pandya early in the tournament, the likes of Jasprit Bumrah (17), Mohammad Shami (16), Ravindra Jadeja (16), Kuldeep Yadav (14) and Mohammad Siraj (12) have kept India on top in all their matches. Playing at home, and their fortress Wankhede Stadium too is an advantage for the semifinals.

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Weaknesses

There are underlying weaknesses in the Indian side. Though Rohit Sharma has made aggressive starts, Shubman Gill has performed in patches. Kohli is the highest scorer for India, Shreyas and Rahul have done well too. But things get a bit dicey after that, Jadeja has stood tall on a couple of occasions, and Suryakumar Yadav has not been able to perform consistently, though he has struck a crucial half-century.

Hardik Pandya's absence could be felt against a strong bowling unit. Though the team has done well so far, the middle-order batting is still a matter of concern as a collective off-day for 2-3 out of the top four will leave the team totally exposed.

The team is also under tremendous pressure as everyone wants them to win the World Cup. The team is also a bit travel-weary as the hosts played nine matches at nine different venues. Though there was ample gap between the matches, constant travel does take a toll on both the body and mind.

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Opportunities

The team is in a great position to go all the way to the title. What will also give them comfort is the fact that the hosts have won the title in the last three editions of the 50-over World Cup -- India won at the Wankhede in 2011, co-host Australia defeated New Zealand in the 2015 final while co-host England overcame New Zealand in the 2019 final on boundary countback.

Considering their form, their mastery of the home conditions and the bruised, depleted and injury-ravaged condition of opponents New Zealand, this is a great opportunity for Rohit Sharma's team to break the World Cup knockout jinx.

Only two countries – West Indies and Australia – have gone unbeaten in winning the 50-over World Cup. India too can do it if they manage to bring their A-game to the table two more times in this World Cup.

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Threats

The jinx against New Zealand in the knockout stage is the biggest threat for hosts India. Though India had managed to beat New Zealand in a World Cup match for the first time since 2003 at Dharamsala a few weeks back, the defeat to the Black Caps in the 2019 semifinal still rankles.

But as Lockie Ferguson said in the press conference, the teams are vastly different from the 2019 matchup and therefore the team that does well on that given day will win the match.

The Indians will also have to guard against the law of averages, having remained unbeaten in nine matches, they can't be complacent and arrogate themselves into thinking they are unbeatable. There are things against which they have to be on their guard. They need to put in their best performance once again otherwise their hopes will go up in smoke.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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