India lock horns against New Zealand in the first semi-final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 at the Old Trafford in Manchester on Tuesday. The Men In Blue will be eyeing their fourth appearance in a World Cup final while the Kiwis will be hoping to enter their second consecutive summit clash. India were outstanding in their group stages where they had finished on the top of the points table with seven wins from their nine games and 15 points in their tally. Their only loss came against the hosts England while one of their league matches against the Kiwis was washed away due to rain.
As India take on New Zealand in the semis, the acting president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) CK Khanna came forward to hail Virat Kohli & Co.'s excellent performance in the group stages where they had finished at the summit of the points table. At the same time, he also hoped that the Men In Blue will perform to their potential in the semi-final as well.
Khanna said that the whole country was proud of Team India, captain Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri.
Speaking to a media agency, Khanna said that the two-time World Champions fared well against teams like Australia and South Africa which ended up setting a good base. He also added appreciated the complete team-work.
Meanwhile, the BCCI acting president was full of praises of India's 2011 World Cup-winning skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Khanna not only said that Mahi is an amazing human being but also said that he is loved by his fans all over the globe. The veteran wicket-keeper batsman turned 38 on Sunday. Dhoni has represented India in four World Cups and now, he is playing in what might be his final appearance in the showpiece event.
This semi-final is special as the Black Caps are in the World Cup semi-finals for the eighth time while the Men in Blue in their seventh.
India have won the World Cup twice in 1983 and 2011 respectively while New Zealand have only featured in one World Cup final so far. They had finished as the runners-up in the 2015 edition.