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World Cup 2019: Ahead of India clash, New Zealander batters do special batting practice

The Black Caps are sitting pretty at the top of the table with three wins but those victories have come against teams like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

Indian team
Indian team. (Photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images)

New Zealand will be facing the first tough test of ICC World Cup 2019 when they take on two-time champions India at Trent Bridge, Nottingham, on June 13. The Black Caps are sitting pretty at the top of the table with three wins but those victories have come against teams like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. All the three sides are located much below the Kiwis in the ICC rankings and India will be the first opponents who are ranked higher than them.

India have also won both the matches they have played so far and both have come against top opponents like South Africa and defending champions Australia. Along with the 2015 finalists, Virat Kohli’s men are the only side to not to have lost a game in the tournament so far and any one of them will be the only loss-less team after Thursday’s encounter.

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The Kiwis, who have won all their matches batting second so far, had a close win over Bangladesh (2 wickets) compared to Lanka (10 wickets) and Afghanistan (7 wickets). The Indian bowling line-up is a much tougher customer compared to any of those three Asian sides and the Black Caps were doing some special practice to prepare for the attack that comprises the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav and Hardik Pandya.

NZ batting order yet to be tested in this World Cup

In Nottingham, New Zealand batting all-rounder James Neesham and bowling all-rounder Mitchell Santner were seen taking the bat into a tennis court and practising hitting big against a woman serving them with a tennis ball. One of the two batters was seen connecting the ball well on the rise as the fans around them cheered.

Neither Neesham nor Santner has had an opportunity to show their batting skills though the former came up with a career-best 5 for 31 in the match against Afghanistan to pick the man of the match award. Neesham yet had some chance to score some runs against Bangladesh but he could manage only 25.

New Zealand had a close victory in the game against Bangladesh, thanks to veteran Ross Taylor’s 82, but they would have to tighten things when facing the better bowling attacks.

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