Grant Elliot bold
New Zealand batsmen will have to bat as a cohesive unit to bring their team on the doorstep of maiden World T20 final. © Getty Images

New Zealand have advanced into the semi-finals of ICC World T20 2016 by outplaying and outwitting all the other teams in Group 2. They will square off against England at Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla in the first semi-final on Wednesday evening. The Black Caps have showcased phenomenal performances and cruised into the semi-finals in the previous editions of ICC’s flagship events as well, but were knocked over seven times in the semi-finals of ICC Cricket World Cup and once in World T20. In fact, ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 was the first time ever that New Zealand held their nerves and crossed the semi-finals hurdle. Given the rampaging team composition they boast of now, they easily have a psychological advantage over England. However, the question still beckons, are there in any other loopholes that will put New Zealand on the back foot in Wednesday’s knockout match?  Live Cricket Scorecard: England v New Zealand, T20 World Cup 2016, 1st Semi-Final at Delhi

England team analysts will be closely scrutinizing the New Zealand team. One of the very few problems New Zealand might face in the semis is, they have not chased down a target in the all the 4 matches they played in Super-10 stage. Skipper Kane Williamson won the toss in every match and chose to bat first. The English captain Eoin Morgan must be well aware of this and will look to bat first if he happens to win the toss. To add to the fire, England have a batting-heavy line-up and their batsmen are brimming with confidence. From openers to lower-order batsmen, everyone has contributed in this T20 spectacle so far.

Barring the England-Sri Lanka clash at Feroz Shah Kotla, the ball was found to have gripped the pitch and was not coming crisply onto the bat, resulting into low-scoring matches.  Hence, tomorrow’s game will boil down to how the curators dish out the track. Also read: T20 World Cup 2016: Why England can edge out New Zealand in semi-finals

New Zealand’s No.3 batsman Colin Munro has not come good and set the scoreboards on fire. It was either one of the openers Martin Guptill and Williamson, who provided most of the impetus and kept the team on course. To add more their batting woes, middle-order batsmen Corey Anderson, Ross Taylor and Grant Elliot have not consistently come good and been giving  away their wickets at regular intervals.

Having an array of all-rounders in the team helps New Zealand bat deep. However, lower-order batsmen Luke Ronchi and Mitchell Santner have not had a good run so far. While Ronchi has scored 47 runs, Santner has amassed only 22 so far.

New Zealand have been heavily relying on their bowlers to edge past the opposition. If they do not go all guns blazing, curtains will be down for them in yet another semi-final battle. For the Black Caps to mount pressure on the English bowlers, they have to bat as a cohesive unit to bring their team on the doorstep of maiden World T20 final.

(Kaustubh S. Mayekar, a reporter at CricketCountry, played cricket at U-16 level. Like his idol Rahul Dravid, he often shadow-practises cricket shots. His Twitter handle is @TheCricKnight.)