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India vs New Zealand Semi Final: Winning the Toss will be Crucial

The Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday has been a host to many memorable matches in the history of the Men’s ODI World Cup, including the 2011 final where India ended the wait of lifting the trophy and achieved glory in front of home fans.

On Wednesday, Wankhede Stadium will be all decked in blue when India takes on New Zealand in the first semifinal of the 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup. In this World Cup, the stadium has hosted four matches and it presents some pointers which can be the keys to success for both teams in the crucial knockout match.

The first step is to win the toss ideally. As per the statistics provided by Cricket-21.com, in the ongoing World Cup, the teams batting first have won three of the four games, with the one winning batting second by Australia coming due to Glenn Maxwell’s astonishing 201 against Afghanistan.

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Out of the four matches, captains have opted to bat first and bowl first on two occasions each in this World Cup. The average first-innings score at this venue for the World Cups has been 357/6 whereas the average first-innings winning score has been 379/7.

South Africa and India have made totals in excess of 350 in the first three matches of this venue’s World Cup games and emerged victorious. There’s more to support the notion of batting first for anyone who wins the toss at Wankhede on Wednesday.

Batting first has performed well when compared to batting second teams under lights, as the batters have found it difficult to score in overs 1-10 in this venue while chasing during the World Cup.

In the 1-10 overs phase in the first innings, 209 runs have been made with run-rate being of 5.2 and balls per boundary at 7.2. Plus, the average runs and wickets at 52.3 and 1.3 respectively. But in batting second in the 1-10 overs phase, the numbers tell a different story.

With the new ball swinging and seaming more under the Wankhede Stadium lights, batters have been able to make only 168 runs, at a run rate of 4.2 and balls per boundary at 10.5. Plus, the average runs and wickets stand at 42 and 4.3 respectively.

But if one is ready to stay at the crease for long, they can garner big runs in the last ten overs of power-play, as far as the first innings is concerned. The last ten overs’ scores of the first innings read as 143/2, 144/2, 93/4, and 96/2, thus showing teams can go big at the end via their big-hitting finishing skills.

In terms of bowling, fast bowlers have been ruling the roost so far in the tournament at Wankhede. The fast bowlers have picked 47 wickets, averaging 29 at an economy rate of 6.6 and strike rate of 26.4. On the other hand, the spinners have only managed to take 11 scalps while averaging 70.1 at an economy rate of 6 and a strike rate of 70.2.

Moreover, bowlers have found good success in terms of average and economy rate in the second innings when compared to the first innings in Wankhede in this World Cup. In the overs 1-10 of the second innings, fast bowlers have average and economy rates of 9.2 and 4.1 respectively, while corresponding figures for spinners read as 0 and 5.5 respectively.

Compare this to 1-10 overs in the first innings – for pacers, it becomes 45.8 and 5.6 in average and economy rate respectively, while for spinners, it reads as 26 and 3.6 respectively. For over 11-40 in the second innings, pacers have average and economy rates of 23.3 and 6.1 respectively, while for spinners, it reads as 43.4 and 5.5 respectively.

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