Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Hosts India will lock horns against their nemesis New Zealand in the first semifinal of the ICC ODI World Cup 2023 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday.

The Men in Blue haven’t had much luck in the semifinals of a World Cup. In seven qualifications for the knockout stage, they have managed to get through only thrice. Their last qualification was way back in 2011 at home. Despite the numbers, the old fears and a familiar opponent in the semis, coach Rahul Dravid is confident that India can take down the Kiwis after a convincing win in the league stage.

During a recent interview, Dravid admitted that the clash against the Black Caps will certainly not be another game and India will be under pressure for the all-important game.

“I think it would be inauthentic to say it’s just another game. I think it’s a bit inauthentic. Yes, of course, it’s a semifinal. But I think our processes are not going to change. We do recognize that it’s an important game and it’s a knockout game. We have to accept the fact that there will be a certain amount of pressure,” said Dravid.

“I think the way we have responded to pressure so far gives us a lot of belief and a lot of confidence. I don’t think we will change anything in the way we prepare or the way we train. I am really confident. The vibe and the energy in the group are really good at this point in time. All we can do is play what is in front of us. Staying in the moment. Plan well, prepare well, and play a good game of cricket,” he added.