CWC 2023: “Difficult venue to bowl, need early wickets,” Kuldeep Yadav ahead of semi-final clash vs New Zealand in Mumbai

India and New Zealand will square off in the semi-final at the Wankhede Stadium on November 15.

Kuldeep Yadav | GettyTeam India have reached the semi-final of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 without losing a single match in the league stage.

On Sunday (November 12), Rohit Sharma’s men played their last league game against Netherlands and they outclassed the Dutch by 160 runs at Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.

The Men in Blue will now face New Zealand in the World Cup semi-final at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on November 15.

Ahead of the knock-out fixture, India’s wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav has acknowledged that Wankhede is a tough venue for bowlers and the hosts would need early wickets to get on top of the Kiwis.

“It is a difficult venue to bowl. The bounce is true and batsmen often dominate there. Unlike in T20, of course, the bowlers have plenty of time to come back into the game,” said Kuldeep after India’s big win over Netherlands.

“But yes, you need a couple of early wickets to get on top of the game and opponents.”

India had lost to New Zealand in the 2019 World Cup semi-final at Old Trafford, but Kuldeep did not read too much into past records.

“The 2019 semifinals (against NZ) was four years ago. We have played a lot of bilateral series after that, so we know the conditions (in India) and so do they. Our preparation has been good and we have been able to play good cricket throughout the tournament.

“So, we expect to continue in the same vein in the next match as well,” he said.

Kuldeep Yadav performed exceptionally well in the league stage, claiming 14 wickets from nine matches at an impressive economy rate of 4.15.

Playing down the pressures of a knockout match, Kuldeep said: “I just work on my rhythm and strengths and focus on how batsmen are trying to play me. My aim is to land the ball on the good length area as much as possible.

“I just keep focusing on the process rather than on wickets. Hopefully, it will work in the next match also,” he added.

(With PTI Inputs)


By Salman Anjum - 13 Nov, 2023

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