MANCHESTER, July 9: New Zealand captain Kane Williamson won the toss and elected to bat against India in the first Cricket World Cup semi-final under overcast skies at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
The 2015 finalists made a change, bringing in a fit-again Lockie Ferguson, their leading wicket-taker in the tournament, and leaving out fellow quick bowler Tim Southee.
“It looks like a good surface,” New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said.
“Always a toss up with the overheads but I’m not sure this is around all day so we need to do the job first up.
“We have a great opportunity today against a great side in India and we’ll be looking for an improved performance, as we do in all our matches.”
Twice champions India also made a change to the side that beat Sri Lanka in their final group match, bringing in Yuzvendra Chahal in place of fellow wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav.
“We would have batted first, it’s a good surface, nice and hard, it’s not moist or anything,” India skipper Virat Kohli said.
“We’ve played really good cricket in Manchester, two really good game, it’s just about doing the same things again.”
India and New Zealand are playing each other for the first time in this year’s tournament after the group match between the sides in Nottingham was washed out.
Tuesday’s game is a repeat of the semi-final of the 2008 Under-19 World Cup in which a Kohli-led India defeated a Williamson-captained New Zealand in Kuala Lumpur.
Hosts England play defending champions Australia in the second semi-final on Thursday.
India: KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli(captain), Rishabh Pant, MS Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Kane Williamson (captain), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wicketkeeper), James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Trent Boult.