India vs New Zealand latest: Live scores and updates from Cricket World Cup semi-final

India vs New Zealand latest: Live scores and updates from Cricket World Cup semi-final

OVER 10: NZ 46/2 (Williamson 4 Mitchell 1)

Mitchell tries to push Shami down the ground but there’s enough movement to send the ball cannoning into his pads off an inside edge. An attempted in-swinger moves a long way, even after it’s gone past the batter, and beats KL Rahul. Extras proving invaluable for New Zealand at the moment.

Mitchell looks to nick a quick single, and does so even after a direct hit from the man at mid-on.

OVER 9: NZ 40/2 (Williamson 4 Mitchell 0)

Bumrah is just starting to find something here. Nip off the pitch and hint in the air. This is really, really tough for New Zealand right now. The ball is talking under the lights once again at the Wankhede and even if they get through this period without losing any more wickets, the rate is already rising fast.

OVER 8: NZ 40/2(Williamson 4 Mitchell 0)

What an over from Shami. Daryl Mitchell is the new man. One of these two needs to get three figures for New Zealand to have any chance in this game you feel. 


Rachin Ravindra c Rahul b Mohammed Shami 13 

Ravindra thumps a boundary but his innings is now over. It’s beautiful from Shami, he’s pounding the length just outside the off stump and this time Ravindra does nick it. Easy catch for Rahul. FOW: 39/2

OVER 7: NZ 35/1 (Williamson 4 Ravindra 9)

Sharma is giving Bumrah every chance to find his rhythm and on the evidence of the first few balls of this over that could be a good decision. There’s plenty of movement for him here if he can find the right zone. 

Rahul and the two slips are convinced Bumrah has Williamson caught behind but that looks to have clipped his back pad. Sharma opts not to review – smart decision.


OVER 6: NZ 34/1 (Williamson 4 Ravindra 9)

There’s plenty of movement for Shami in this first over. He’s got it moving away from both right and left-handers. The new man Williamson is watchful initially, leaving twice before getting in behind one in a convincing defensive manner. The atmosphere inside the Wankhede is deafening but they are momentarily quietened as Williamson leans on a square drive for a boundary. 


Devon Conway c Rahul b Mohammed Shami 13 

Shami into the attack with a bang! Conway just feels for one outside his off stump and gets a thin edge. There’s still plenty of work for KL Rahul to do and he does it superbly, diving to his left to take the catch. FOW: 30/1

India's Mohammed Shami celebrates after taking the wicket of New Zealand's Devon Conway
CREDIT: Reuters/Adnan Abidi

OVER 5: NZ 30/0 (Conway 13 Ravindra 8)

Every time the ball even comes close to a New Zealand pad the entire Wankhede Stadium is up appealing. To their credit, the Indian bowlers and fielders are not being quite as eager. 

Back-to-back wides from Bumrah, the second of which beats KL Rahul behind the stumps and races away for a boundary. Odd to see the Indian quick looking so off his mark. 

Ravindra gets a tiny inside edge on a wicked in-swinger from Bumrah – that would have clean bowled him had he not got something on it.

OVER 4: NZ 23/0 (Conway 12 Ravindra 8)

Excellent contest between Siraj and Ravindra, with the New Zealand opener looking up to the challenge early on. Conway sends Ravindra back as the latter looks to hare off for a quick single. No way there was a run there. 

Siraj draws a false shot from Ravindra as he gets one to slide across the left-hander but then disappears for a boundary behind square on the leg side. 

Really, really good cricket out there.

OVER 3: NZ 19/0 (Conway 12 Ravindra 4)

Conway is beaten by a beauty from Bumrah. Just enough movement to draw the batsman into a false shot. A couple of wides follow though. Bumrah hasn’t quite hit his strap early on here. Normally that means he’ll exit this first spell taking the opponent’s entire top order with him...

Bumrah comes round the wicket and looks immediately more threatening, angling the ball into Conway, who gets fortunate as an inside edge misses his leg stump. Too much width from Bumrah to follow and Conway cashes in through cover for four.

OVER 2: NZ 12/0 (Conway 8 Ravindra 4)

Mohammed Siraj takes the new ball from the other end with Rachin Ravindra in his sights. Decent early pace from the Indian right-armer but Ravindra looks comfortable early on, punching cleanly to the man at mid-off.

Siraj is just getting a shade of movement back into the left-handed Ravindra. New Zealadn are going to have to be very watchful in this opening 10 overs with the ball likely to move under the lights. 

Ravindra gets off the mark after an unconvincing prod outside the off stump races away for four.

New Zealand's Rachin Ravindra in action
CREDIT: Reuters/Adnan Abidi

OVER 1: NZ 8/0 (Conway 8 Ravindra 0)

Devon Conway smashes the first ball from Jasprit Bumrah though point for four. What a start for New Zealand. A sign of things to come? We shall see. The third ball is a carbon-copy as Conway leans on one with a bit of width to pick up his second boundary.

Virat Kohli on making history

Again, the great man [Sachin Tendulkar] just congratulated me. Honestly, this all feels like a dream. It’s too good to be true, it feels surreal. I never thought I’d be here, ever, in my career.

I had to play the role I’ve had throughout the tournament, batting long so that the guys around me can express themselves in the knowledge that I’ll be there in the later overs when I can dominate with the bat as well.

The most important thing for me is to make my team win, and I’ll do whatever it takes to achieve that.

It’s very difficult for me to explain this. But if I could paint a perfect picture, this would be it. My life partner, the person I love the most, she’s sitting there. My hero, he’s sitting there. And I was able to get to 50 in front of them and all these fans at such an historic venue. It was amazing.

It was a perfect batting performance from us, but only one half of the job is done.



Change of innings: NZ need 398

Astounding batting from Rohit, Gill, Kohli and Iyer gave India such forward momentum throughout that they utterly marmalised a frankly poor New Zealand attack. They put their bodies on the line in stifling heat but their minds must be as shredded as their muscles and can’t be in any fit state to chase convincingly. Having said that, Rachin has all the tools to be an all-time great and Williamson already is one. 

OVER 50: IND 397/4 (Rahul 39 Gill 80)

Gill returns to add a single to his not out score and Rahul ends the innings by walloping six over long on, pulling four behind square and slicing a cut shot high over point for four more to take India to the highest ever total in a World Cup knockout match. Amazing hitting as well as some classy batting. Poor Southee who gave his all ends with 10-0-100-3.

Rahul’s 39 came off 20 balls, India made 110 off the last 10. 


Suryakumar c Phillips b Southee 1  Slow, short and outside off, forcing the new batsman to fetch it and he flaps it to cow corner where Phillips hangs on with his wrists hugging the ball to his body after making a mess of his hand placement.  FOW 382/4

OVER 49: IND 382/3 (Rahul 25 Suryakumar 1)

Rahul’s eyes widen when Boult doesn’t land the yorker and he swipes the low full toss over long on for six. The next ball is another attempted yorker but this one is overpitched and Rahul slices his drive behind point for four.

After Iyer clubs a boundary through long on he is done by the slow, wide cutter and ladles it to long on. 


Iyer c Mitchell b Boult 105  Big swat spooned to long on as he tries to keep the onslaught advancing to the death.  FOW 381/3

OVER 48: IND 366/2 (Iyer 101 Rahul 14)

Back-to-back hundreds for Shreyas Iyer after reading Southee’s intentions and pasting the slower ball over midwicket for six followed by the single to long-on that makes it a 67-ball ton. Rahul swipes one away off the inside edge for a single, Shreyas cuffs the bouncer for a single and Rahul paddles for two before cutting for one. No respite for poor Southee who ahs been forced to bowl four overs  at the death by Ferguson’s injury and initial waywardness. 9-0-85-2 don’t reflect his effort and heart.  

India's Shreyas Iyer celebrates
Shreyas Iyer makes a second successive World Cup century CREDIT: AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade

OVER 47: IND 354/2 (Iyer 93 Rahul 10)

Boult is back for the first of two overs at the death and Rahul carves a cut past point for four off his slow, shortish cutter. Boult follows it up with a yorker that beats KL and another which doesn’t land and hits his pad as he tried to flick it. A half-hearted appeal for leg-before but it was angled so far across that it would have missed a second set of stumps. 

OVER 46: IND 347/2 (Iyer 91 Rahul 6)

It never rains ... Rahul pulls Southee for four and Conway’s knee seems to plug in the turf as he scrambled to stop it. He looks in real pain but eventually gets up. There has to be a different way to dive. Southee ends the over by hitting Rahul amidships with a slow bouncer that has him doubled up and breathing hard. Don’t rub ’em, count ’em.

OVER 45: IND 341/2 (Iyer 90 Rahul 1)

Shreyas Iyer has such power and such a booming swing that he bookends Rvindra’s seventh over by lamping him for a pair of sixes hit into the second tier at long off. No wonder when Iyer gave KL the strike with a cut carved yo point, he gives it straight back to him via a punch to cover for a walked single.  Seven sixes for Iyer to go with three fours. 

It is the hungry desire and physical fitness of Virat Kohli that stand out for me, after he has posted 50 ODI hundreds. Compare him with Joe Root who is younger, and who was equally successful in ODIs, but seems to have lost some of that hunger. Kohli has never given up orthodoxy in favour of funky shots. He has always been content with taking the single down the ground. In an DI in India his innings have a Bradmanesque inevitability. 

OVER 44: IND 327/2 (Iyer 77 Rahul 0)

Phillips drops Kohli at cow corner. He ran in and dived by he couldn’t cling on as his knuckles graze the turf. Kohli and Southee are good friends but that doesn’t stop him adding insult to injury after running two by pulling the next ball that sticks in the pitch way over Phillips’ head for six. Kohli walks down and flicks two down to Phillips, cruelly follwoing him, but finally holes out next ball. 

He departs to a standing ovation. Cometh the hour ...


Kohli c Conway b Southee 117  Dropped three balls before at midwicket, Kohli holes out to square leg who takes a good, diving catch off the walking flick.  FOW 327/2

Here’s how he became the record breaker. Cue Roy Castle and his trumpet:

OVER 43: IND 314/1 (Kohli 107 Iyer 74)

Ravindra continues and Iyer, hatless, mows him over long on for six, gorging on the shorter length to cart him just over the rope. Ferguson gave chase but his leg has stiffened up, too, after his calf injury and he can’t get there. Simon Doull reckons he won’t be able to bowl again either. By trying to keep it out of Iyer’s range he twice errs beyond the blue line outside off and two wides go on to the score to add to three further milked singles. 

OVER 42: IND 303/1 (Kohli 106 Iyer 66)

Ferguson goes short and Iyer short-arm pulls it to long on for a single and then uses the same cramped shot to earn another to square leg after Kohli swipes the slower ball off the inside edge for a single.

Kohli, back on strike, flicks a full ball off middle for two behind square to bring up a record 50th ODI century to beat the 49 he shared with Sachin. Fifty! Ridiculous. They wrote him off after 2021. 

He celebrates like a man who is both proud and relieved. Don’t call this a comeback. He’s been here for years. Mama says knock you out ... the last ball of the over is charged and lamped over midwicket for four.

Virat Kohli flays the bowling
Virat Kohli: record breaker CREDIT: UNIT PARANJPE/AFP via Getty Images


OVER 41: IND 292/1 (Kohli 97 Iyer 64)

Rachin Ravindra starts the final Powerplay. India are going on to make a towering total but not as daunting as it could have been had they not been hobbled by cramp. Fine over from the all-rounder who goes for five singles but at this stage that’s a win. 


Latham thought he had feathered it while trying to cut but there was nothing on Ultra-edge. 

NZ review

Iyer c Latham b Ravindra

OVER 40: IND 287/1 (Kohli 95 Iyer 61)

Shreyas rolls his wrists on a pull off Ferguson’s cutter for a single and then whisks a straighter, fuller one, through midwicket for four. Kohli works two singles through the onside, the second of them a but tight, and he stumbles and loses his footing with his dodgy hammy as he makes his ground. 

OVER 39: IND 275/1 (Kohli 93 Iyer 54)

Kohli takes time to adjust to the stiffness in his leg after treatment and finds it difficult to time his shots off Santner’s last over. They take a single apiece but he suddenly looks vulnerable, slicing a couple of drives off big-turners uppishly but short of men in the offside ring. 

OVER 38: IND 275/1 (Kohli 92 Iyer 53)

Kohli has an attack of Maxwellite tin leg syndrome, mercifully only to one leg (a uni-cramper), when the back of his right thigh cramps midway through a pull off Boult for a single. Short balls and yorkers keep the pair down to five singles before the physio races on to try to ease Kohli’s hamstring. 

Virat drives
Virat Kohli moves towards a scarcely credible 50th ODI century CREDIT: PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP via Getty Images

OVER 37: IND 270/1 (Kohli 89 Iyer 51)

Shubman Gill has put his pads back on and is sitting in the dug out. Must have been cramp, then, rather than a pulled hamstring. Iyer brings up his fourth score of 50+ in succession when he chops Santner down to the point sweeper for a single and Santner keeps them down to four more singles. Santner has 9-1-49-0 but no one else even flirts with respectability. 

OVER 36: IND 265/1 (Kohli 86 Iyer 49)

Trent Boult comes back in another thankless role in the 30-40 over pre-carnage carnage slot. Kohli rolls his wrists on a pull to collar it for four then takes a single off an inside edge. Iyer picks the slower ball and slams it over the bowler’s head for a steepling six then harpoons a square drive for four. Brutal.  

OVER 35: IND 248/1 (Kohli 80 Iyer 38)

A maiden for Santner. Remarkable. Uses flight to keep Iyer, nemesis of spin, uncharacteristically quiet. It won’t last. 

OVER 34: IND 248/1 (Kohli 80 Iyer 38)

Iyer absolutely marmalises Iyer, dumping him back over his hand and into the upper tier for six. The ball before Kohli tucked a single off Phillips off his pads which took him past Sachin’s 673 from South Africa 2003 and made him the highest scorer in a single World Cup campaign. 

If Virat Kohli wants a compliment – not that he will ever be short of one – it should be that word by Sir Viv Richards on TV commentary. Brilliant, said Viv, after Kohli had walked down the pitch and whipped a six. Just like Viv used to do himself. 

OVER 33: IND 238/1 (Kohli 78 Iyer 30)

A change of ends for Southee and Iyer mows his slower ball over midwicket for six. At one point it looked as it would go further vertically than horizontally but it comfortably cleared l’homme vache down at cow corner. After Iyer takes a single down to long on Kohli punches two through cover and then pinches the strike with another drive laced to long on for a single. 

OVER 32: IND 226/1 (Kohli 74 Iyer 22)

Phillips replaces Southee after the break and Iyer pats a drive down the ground for a single. The off-spinner arcs one into Kohli’s pads and Virat uses the angle to whip it for four down to fine leg. Phillips ties him up with three dot balls but there’s no needle and the damage (still) done. 

OVER 31: IND 221/1 (Kohli 70 Iyer 21)

Glorious shot from Kohli in the latest imperial phase of his career, going up on to his toes to bisect point and short third man for four. That’s deserving of a drink in itself, and on they come.  

OVER 30: IND 214/1 (Kohli 65 Iyer 19)

Tim Southee replaces Lockie Ferguson and Kohli picks the slower ball, puts on his dancing pumps, shuffles down and wedges a flick, all bottom hand, over long-on for six. Four more singles come between cover and mid-off as India motor on. One hypothesis of the modern analyst is that the score from 30 overs should be doubled after 50. If India manage that ... Blimey! 


OVER 29: IND 203/1 (Kohli 57 Iyer 16)

Boult returns and Kohli waltzes down and thumps him over mid-off for four. Having taken a heavy toll off the first ball they are content to milk a couple of singles. Sir Viv Richards is currently in the commentary box. For people of my generation there is no one and never will be anyone like him. 

OVER 28: IND 197/1 (Kohli 52 Iyer 15)

Best over yet from Ferguson and Iyer chisels out an excellent, rapid yorker. Just three singles off the over. NZ have clawed it back from nine an over at the start to just over seven. 

OVER 27: IND 194/1 (Kohli 50 Iyer 14)

The DJ leads cries of ‘King! King! Kohli!’ after he makes his 72nd ODI fifty, his first in World Cup knockouts stretching back to 2011, with a single down to long-on off Ravindra.

Earlier in the over Iyer chasséd down to the left-arm spinner and pumped him over long-off for six and then was almost gulled into spooning a catch to short third man with a wider line and tempting flight but he skewed it streakily past the diving fielder, placed there for just such an error. 

OVER 26: IND 181/1 (Kohli 48 Iyer 4)

Another tidy over from Ferguson after the deluge in his first spell. Kohli flicks two down to long leg, smells the leather when he sways out of the road of a perfume ball and works a single off his hip. Tim Southee gives him a hug at the end of the over, both men wreathed in smiles. 

OVER 25: IND 178/1 (Kohli 45 Iyer 4)

Poor fielding from New Zealand. Well, poor thinking more like as Latham fumbles a return and Kohli adds a buzzer to his single. That apart, it’s a perfectly respectable over from Rachin Ravindra, only that two and a pair of singles, both to long-off, come from it. 

OVER 24: IND 173/1 (Kohli 41 Iyer 3)

Kohli isn’t struggling in the heat, sprinting his singles, constantly hustling and piling urgency on to the fielders. Ferguson returns and almost does Iyer for pace. He takes it on hesitantly, pulling off the top edge by the splice, one-bounce to fine leg for a single. Kohli also gets away with a mistimed pull when cramped for room, gloving it wide of Latham for four. Moral victories both for the beleaguered Ferguson but no solace. 

OVER 23: IND 165/1 (Kohli 35 Iyer 1)

Filth from Santner who drags the ball down and Kohli rocks back to swat it through midwicket for four. Shubman, who only recovered from Dengue Fever to take his place in the side after the opening matches, is having to go off after length treatment to his hamstring which looks more serious than cramp. 

Gill retires hurt for 79

In comes Shreyas Iyer for the last two balls of the over. 

Iyer is sent back when trying to steal a single to short fine leg but gets off the mark with a patted drive to long off. 

Shubman Gill hits the deck
Shubman Gill is forced into retiring hurt with a sore left thigh, either a hamstring injury or severe cramp CREDIT: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

A lesson for Brook

I hope Harry Brook is watching Shubman Gill – similar age and talent. Brook, even after England have been knocked out of this World Cup, has played only 12 ODIs. Gill plays himself in, goes through the gears, builds his innings and keeps the ball on the ground except for when he is aiming for six. 

OVER 22: IND 157/1 (Gill 78 Kohli 29)

If the message was to tuck into Phillips, he doesn’t allow it with a tidy over of darts that are worked around for four singles. Eoin Morgan thinks NZ are so under the cosh that they need to bring Boult back to break the partnership rather than trying to rattle through some overs of spin as inconspicuously as possible. 

OVER 21: IND 153/1 (Gill 76 Kohli 27)

India take three singles off Santner’s over and Rohit sends on a message with the drinks waiter, Ashwin. The commentators think Rohit wants them to get a wiggle on against the sixth bowler, Phillips. A hard task-master. They’re on course for 380 as it is. 

OVER 20: IND 150/1 (Gill 74 Kohli 26)

Gill is batting with style, intelligence and poise, sensing the right moment to take a big stride down and ping Phillips over mid-off for six. He’s back on the dance floor to the next ball, trotting down to whip a single through midwicket, playing havoc with the bowler’s equilibrium. Where do you bowl to him on a small ground in a cauldropn of heat and cacophony of noise which is made even more unsettling by the shrillness of the DJ/cheerleader. 

India's Virat Kohli in action as New Zealand's Tom Latham looks on
Virat Kohli books in for bed and breakfast CREDIT: REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

OVER 19: IND 142/1 (Gill 67 Kohli 25)

Both batsmen have now discarded their helmets for caps. After finding the fielders with his first two strokes off Santner’s fifth over, Gill gorges on an aberration in length to slap a single to the boundary rider at cover. Kohli takes a pair of singles to long on either side of Gill’s cut for one. 

OVER 18: IND 138/1 (Gill 65 Kohli 23)

Phillips replaces Gill. They are going to need a few overs from the offie in less than ideal circumstances, against the worst possible match-ups, given how leaky Lockie has been. 

And he gets out of the over for the cost of only six runs, four singles and Kohli’s two, worked with the angle wristily through midwicket.

OVER 17: IND 132/1 (Gill 63 Kohli 19)

Gill uses his feet to skip down once more to Santner and dump him into the Indian dressing room for six, straight back over his head. So much for taking back control. Santner over-corrects, drifts toon wide and Gill plays a late cut with echoes, albeit at a much greater and slender height, of Gundappa Viswanath. 

Shubman Gill raises his bat to the crowd
Shubman Gill makes his half-century CREDIT: AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool

OVER 16: IND 121/1 (Gill 53 Kohli 18)

Ravindra is bowling well and to his field. Williamson posts himself again at shorty cover to deter Kohli from playing his signature drive with abandon and it works, forcing him to use his bottom hand more to work singles either side of him. Gill rocks back to scythe a single down to the sweeper at cover point. New Zealand are trying to use their spinners to take back control but it may be too late. The final single brought up the fifty partnership off 46 balls. 

OVER 15: IND 118/1 (Gill 52 Kohli 16)

Much tighter from Santner, tantalising the batsmen with flight and variations in pace but not allowing them to free their arms with his line/ They take four singles and reach the sanctuary of drinks on this sweltering afternoon majestically well-placed. 

The pitch for tomorrow’s semi final at Eden Gardens between Australia and South Africa will also take place on a used pitch. The game will be held on the same surface as the England-Pakistan game at the weekend. Not sure it suits either South Africa or Australia really. 

OVER 14: IND 114/1 (Gill 50 Kohli 14)

With pace proving so expensive, Williamson turns to Rachin Ravindra and a double helping of left-arm spin. India’s lack f left-handers has neutered Glenn Phillips’ threat. Gill brings up his half-century with a drive to long off and then Kohli works two between midwicket and long on with a stir of the right wrist before square driving for four.  

Look at how large the bowlers’ footmarks are already on this used pitch. There is going to be plenty of rough for India’s spinners when their time comes. Kuldeep in particular might come up with a ripper if the dew isn’t hampering him. 

OVER 13: IND 104/1 (Gill 49 Kohli 5)

Ferguson changes ends but not his fortunes. Gill plays a short-arm pull for four off NZ’s quickest bowler, flogging it for four then top-edges another, next ball, for six. Predictably enough the next ball is full, fast and down the corridor and Gill pushes it for a single to mid-off. Kohli, who has been standing admiringly at the non-striker’s, decides to filch the strike by going up en pointe to chop a single down to third man. 

OVER 12: IND 92/1 (Gill 38 Kohli 4)

Santner comes back on for a second over after Ferguson’s costly two-over spell. And he slams the brakes on by bowling very slowly by left-arm spinners’ standards. Gill times a sweep off middle stump perfectly but Conway makes a good running, tumbling stop to keep him down to two. 

OVER 11: IND 89/1 (Gill 35 Kohli 4)

Southee continues and tries to do Gill with a slow ball too but he waits for the first one and checks his stroke but when he goes fuller and slower Gill flicks it in the air past a diving shortish midwicket for four. Nice stroke but there was a whisper of hope for New Zealand there too. 

OVER 10: IND 84/1 (Gill 30 Kohli 4)

Rubbish from Ferguson, feeding Gill’s pull twice with short balls angled into the right-hander’s body. They would be fine at the Wanderers or Old Trafford or the Gabba but they sit up pat-a-cake style on this pitch and Gill hammers them for fours. Having been smashed once, why go short again?  

If you are going to have your bowling thrashed by two contemporary right-handed batsmen, you might as well have it done by Rohit and Shubman Gill. They are as elegant as right-handers come today. But now Rohit has gone, NZ can look forward to an hour or two of going at only a run a ball. 

OVER 9: IND 75/1 (Gill 21 Kohli 4)

Canny thinking and execution from Southee to remove Rohit with a slower ball, which, had he picked it, would have been sent into orbit. He almost bags Kohli too with a nip-backer but the inside edge saved him and earned him a boundary after it cannoned into his thigh pad and rattled away for four. 


Yes he did. It sounded woody before it hit his back thigh pad.  

NZ review

Kohli lbw b Southee  Did he hit it? 


Rohit c Williamson b Southee 47  Fine bowling and fielding. Southee diddles India’s captain with a slower ball. He wants to hit it into Marine Drive but is too early on it and cloths it halfway between mid- and long-off. Williamson back-pedals at pace then  has to bound at the last to his left to pouch it over his shoulder. Brilliant catch.  FOW 71/1 

Kane Williamson takes the catch
Kane Williamson takes a sensational catch to remove his opposite number CREDIT: AP Photo/Rafiq Maqboo

ICC releases statement on the pitch

Changes to planned pitch rotations are common towards the end of an event of this length, and has already happened a couple of times. This change was made on the recommendation of the venue curator in conjunction with our host. The ICC independent pitch consultant was apprised of the change and has no reason to believe the pitch won’t play well.

OVER 8: IND 70/0 (Rohit 47 Gill 20)

Gill has had only half the numbers of balls that Rohit has faced but he enjoys pace coming on and is ideally placed for Lockie Ferguson’s introduction. Old ‘Black Boots’, NZ’s quickest bowler, gallops in and Gill smacks a cover drive on the up for four before accumulating a pair of deuces with a midwicket flick and and a classy off-drive that Southee chases down and claws back six inches from the rope. 

Rohit needs new gloves already.  

OVER 7: IND 61/0 (Rohit 47 Gill 11)

Better from Boult, belatedly achieving a consistency in length and pace (apart from one wide sprayed across the right-hander’s hips). Only two come off the bat as the infield snaps on to the ball nudged and nurdled, denying quick singles. The point sweeper runs round to prevent a boundary when Rohit smacks it on the top of the bounce and has to settle for two. 

OVER 6: IND 58/0 (Rohit 45 Gill 11)

But Rohit is not going to change his approach and he embraces risk, sweeping uppishly past a diving fine leg, flirting with danger, for four. Santner makes a rare error and drags the following ball down and Rohit swivels on his back foot to pan it high over the square leg umpire for six. As Dinesh Karthik shows, it’s the way he gyroscopes his bat from low to high as he completes his revolution, down to up, that makes it such a special stroke. 

Rohit Sharma gets India off to a flying start
Rohit tees off CREDIT: PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP via Getty Images

OVER 5: IND 47/0 (Rohit 34 Gill 11)

This makes no sense from New Zealand. They keep feeding Rohit’s pull stroke, as daft an approach as it would be for Ricky Ponting or Richie Richardson. Rohit collars Boult’s short one angling in to his body from round the wicket and carts it for six and, after he takes a single, Gill punches a drive off the back foot for two. 

NZ are going to change tack and bring on Santner. 

OVER 4: IND 38/0 (Rohit 27 Gill 9)

Southee spears a wide down the legside then serves up Rohit’s favourite delivery, a half-tracker from a medium-pacer, and India’s captain pulls it in swashbuckling style for four. The next delivery is fuller and Rohit flicks it off a good length for six over deep backward square. The fielder was interested for a moment or two but recognised its trajectory would leave him a spectator as he craned his neck to watch it sail three rows back. 

If anything can save New Zealand after everything has started to go against them - losing the toss and India choosing the pitch – it is going to be their fielding. A couple of blinders might just enable NZ’s bowlers to get into India’s lower order, and the home side’s bowlers can hit rather than bat. 

OVER 3: IND 25/0 (Rohit 16 Gill 8)

Discretion grips Rohit when he aborts a pull but next ball he goes gung ho, as if to say “Sod it, I’m going to be myself”, skips down and pumps Boult over mid-off for six! The lack of significant swing is making Boult and Southee vulnerable but Boult fights back from round the wicket after a wide and arrows a ball into Rohit’s midriff, which leaves him doubled up in pain, winded and stung. 

OVER 2: IND 18/0 (Rohit 10 Gill 8)

Tim Southee takes the other new ball. Shape, too, for the right-armer. Gill cannot pierce square leg and cover off his first two balls but Southee serves up a pie, third up, a half-volley on leg and middle and Gill clips it through square leg for four.

Southee adjusts his line and Gill tries to flick it from the corridor and Harrow drives  it off the inside edge for a spawny four. 

Also worth pointing out the pitch chosen was last used two weeks ago, so it is pretty fresh really. It was also for a game against Sri Lanka when India’s seamers took nine wickets. When South Africa batted on it a month ago it was an absolute road for the batsmen (well, South Africa’s anyway). Of more relevance might be the fact it is a stonking hot this afternoon in Mumbai – 34C. Will the Kiwis melt like England did? I think they’re made of tougher stuff.

OVER 1: IND 10/0 (Rohit 10 Gill 0)

Rohit gets off the mark straightaway, flicking the full, inswinger off middle through midwicket for two. Boult has one slip halfway between orthodox first and second and is targeting bowled and lbw. Rohit defends the next two inswingers but Rohit takes the next one on and flamingo flicks it off his front leg inches over a leaping short midwicket then clumps the following ball through extra-cover for four. That’s not really his shot but he executed it beautifully. Typical start from Rohit who, at the end of the over, asks the DJ to turn down the volume.  

Rohit takes guard

Trent Boult has the first new ball. India have never lost a knockout game at the World Cup batting first ...

Bad move

India did not need to switch the pitch. They are good enough anyway. It is a stain on them if they win the World Cup but I guess it is what happens when a cricket board is so closely aligned with a political party like the BCCI is with the BJP. Dirty tricks become accepted.

It is something that will be forgotten by a home audience too if India wins, which is another political tool; appeal to your voters and stuff the rest. But if it backfires…

The crowd is resplendent in blue

And making a racket as the teams come out for the national anthems, New Zealand’s first. 

Pundit consensus

From Eoin Morgan, Nasser Hussain and Dinesh Karthik is that India may have shot themselves in the foot by opting for a twice-used pitch when Jasprit Bumrahj and Mohammed Shami bowling so well. And they have not played left-arm spin well in the tournament and Santner is the World Cup’s nonpareil.

This pitch lets New Zealand lure them into a dogfight, which is exactly what they did four years ago, Morgan says while DK thinks “it was a good toss to lose”. The choice of pitch betrays for the first time that they are nervous despite nine wins from nine. 

Guests of honour

Goodwill Ambassadors, Sachin Tendulkar and David Beckham look on prior to the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup India 2023 Semi Final match
Goodwill ambassadors: Sachin Tendulkar welcomes David Beckham to his home ground in Mumbai CREDIT: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Both sides unchanged

India  Rohit Shama (capt), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadab, Mohammed Siraj. 

New Zealand  Devon Conway, Rachin Ravindra, Kane Williamson (capt), Daryl Mitchell, Tom Latham (wk), Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult. 

Umpires  Richard Illingworth (England), Rod Tucker (Australia). TV Joel Wilson (WI)

India win the toss

And will bat first.

Rohit Sharma: “Looks like a good pitch, on the slower side. But whatever we do we have to do well. It’s a very important day. We have to turn up and turn up well on that particular day. We have to control the controllables.”

Kane Williamson: “We would have done the same but it’s a used surface and hopefully some dew in the evening. Looking forward to the challenge ahead. It should be a good game. Both teams have seen a variety of conditions and it’s knockout cricket really.”

Pitch inspection

No, not that kind. This looks more like a fingertip search at a crime scene:

Shubman Gill of India inspects the pitch prior to the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup India 2023 first semi-final
Shubman Gill inspects the Wankhede pitch CREDIT: Darrian Traynor-ICC/ICC via Getty Images

India accused of switching pitches to help spinners

India have been accused of switching today’s semi-final against New Zealand in Mumbai to a used pitch.

The match against New Zealand at the Wankhede Stadium was due to be played on a fresh pitch but instead the one selected by the ground authorities is the same surface used for two previous matches in the tournament. 

Pitches at global events are prepared by local groundstaff but alongside the supervision of an independent expert from the International Cricket Council. ICC regulations also stipulate that pitches can be chosen by the relevant ground authorities but it had been agreed the semi-final would be played on pitch no 7. However, it emerged on Tuesday the pitch will be played on strip no 6 which was used for the India-Sri Lanka match two weeks ago and England-South Africa last month.

A used pitch could suit India’s spinners, and be a slower surface potentially nullifying the threat of New Zealand’s seamers. It is ironic given India’s strength at this tournament has been their outstanding seam attack led by Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami.

The switch came as it emerged Andy Atkinson, the ICC’s pitch consultant, had emailed his bosses at the ICC expressing fears the same could happen for the final in Ahmedabad on Sunday.  

“As a result of these actions, one must speculate if this will be the first ever ICC CWC [World Cup] final to have a pitch which has been specifically chosen and prepared to their stipulation at the request of the team management and/or the hierarchy of the home nation board,” wrote Andy Atkinson, the ICC’s pitch consultant in an email to his bosses, published by the Daily Mail. “Or will it be selected or prepared without favouritism for either of the sides competing in the match in the usual manner, and unquestionably because it is the usual pitch for the occasion?”

It is not the first time used pitches have been chosen for semi finals. The two semi-finals in 2019 were played on fresh pitches at Edgbaston and Old Trafford. However the semi-final of the 2017 Champions Trophy that England lost to Pakistan in Cardiff had been used before in the group stages. The two semi-final pitches at the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia last year had also been used before.

India have fallen at the semi-final stage at the last two World Cups and were beaten by New Zealand at Old Trafford four years ago. It has been India’s seamers who have dominated this World Cup, rather than their spinners. They took nine out of ten wickets to fall during India’s only other match at the Wankhede Stadium against Sri Lanka, who were 29 for eight at one stage. 

Preview: Deja vu?

Good morning and welcome to live coverage of the first semi-final of the 2023 Cricket World Cup which seems to have been going on since May. India, the unbeaten hosts, who won it at home in 2011 and appeared in the next two semi-finals, take on New Zealand who are gunning for a hat-trick of successive finals appearances in their bid finally to step up from bridesmaids against the overwhelming financial and playing resource odds that have made India, Australia and England the last three world champions.

Four years ago at a rain-soused Old Trafford on a sticky, stodgy pitch, India, who had topped the 10-team round robin stage, took on fourth-placed New Zealand in a semi-final that spanned two days. New Zealand had a diligent but hardly spectacular innings from Ross Taylor, 74 off 90 balls, to knit together a stuttering innings which crept doggedly to 239 for eight, which looked about 40 short.

Kane Williamson
Kane Williamson is gunning for a third World Cup final appearance in Mumbai today CREDIT: Alex Davidson-ICC/ICC via Getty Images

But India stuck to their 2011 winning formula of building a platform methodically for MS Dhoni to guide them home and were undone by the hubris of their tactics, a fine opening spell from Matt Henry, Trent Boult knocking over Virat Kohli for one and Mitchell Santner, then as now, turning the screw. In the end they left MS and Ravindra Jadeja far too much to do and New Zealand deservedly qualified for the Lord’s final.

Today’s pitch, see above, could be just as tricky and detrimental to timing expansive shots sweetly.  

India have learnt their lesson, changed their approach and have the best top six in the tournament and the most penetrative and balanced bowling attack. Yet it is not inconceivable that they could be mugged by the Kiwis once more. I suspect the toss will be crucial. Both sides will want to bat first and if NZ win it, take first hit and can put on 280 they have a chance even against India’s stellar line-up. Only Australia of four victors at Wankhede so far have chased and they needed a miraculous double century from Glenn Maxwell on tin legs to get there.  

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