India will play their sixth and final Pool B match against Zimbabwe on Saturday with everybody expecting them to carry forward their streak of unbeaten record at the 2015 cricket World Cup as the defending champions.
What is helping India is still a million dollar question. Certainly no lady luck nor Dhoni magic. It could be a coincidence of sorts that helped India continue its winning streak unabated.
India has already qualified for the quarters after their win over the West Indies. Though skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni decided to stick with the winning combination, they just might change the playing 11 to give some match practice to others ahead of the knockouts.
On the other hand, Zimbabwe will look to end their campaign on a high in the inconsequential tie. Without a chance of qualifying for the knockouts, Zimbabwe will try to give their skipper a winning farewell as Brendan Taylor has decided to end his international career and concentrate on English county cricket.
Though Zimbabwe have lost four of their five matches yet, they have been competitive in each of them, giving a run for their money to all big teams, having chased in all their matches.
However, despite the talent and potential, they are likely to find India too hot to handle, who are on a nine-match winning streak in World Cups.
In another bad news for Zimbabwe, captain Elton Chigumbura, who also did not play against Ireland, has been ruled out again with a leg muscle injury he suffered against Pakistan.
Eden Park’s small straight boundaries may help the team batting first put up a big total but the wicket and conditions at the start should help seamers, who are likely to get some swing.
In the match between the co-hosts, 19 wickets fell as New Zealand trumped Australia by one wicket at the end. Later, Pakistan comprehensively defended 222 against South Africa.
So it might be a small ground but definitely assists the fast bowlers, who will likely get more bounce. But how the pitch will assist the spinners, who have played a significant role for India in the tournament, remains to be seen.
In all probability, this could well be India’s last match in New Zealand in the World Cup because in the knockouts, they will play their quarters, semis and final, provided they win, in Australia because of the draw they have been placed in. (IANS)