General view of the big screen inside the Narendra Modi stadium before the match on 5 October
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A much-anticipated match will kick off the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 on Thursday as defending champions England take on New Zealand in India’s Ahmedabad, where the weather is set to be in contrast to what was faced in the earlier warm-up matches.
Fans lining up for the opening match are expecting a tense fight as the 2019 World Cup final between the two sides has been regarded as the best-ever One Day International (ODI) match in the history of the sport.
After being neck-and-neck throughout the 2019 match, it was England led by Eoin Morgan that ended up clinching its first 50-over World Cup trophy.
The two sides will now begin the 2023 World Cup with an expectedly tense match-up at the Narendra Modi stadium – the largest cricket stadium in the world – at 2pm local time (8.30am GMT) on Thursday in host city Ahmedabad.
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Cricket fans gathered at the stadium will likely have to face hot and humid weather in contrast to warm-up matches in Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuram cities, where rain played spoilsport.
Afternoon temperatures during the England vs New Zealand World Cup opening match are expected to be at 34 degrees Celsius with no forecast of rain. The morning fog is likely to disappear by the afternoon.
By evening, the temperature is expected to drop to 28C. Wind is expected throughout the game, making conditions less draining for the players. The humidity is expected to be around 54 per cent.
There are different types of pitches at the Narendra Modi Stadium – red soil, black soil and a mixture of the two. The conditions are supposed to aid both batters and bowlers.
Red soil pitches offers bounce and spin, while black ones tend to stay a bit low but don’t offer much turn.
Even though the Narendra Modi stadium is regarded as one of the best batting grounds in India, with an average first innings score above 250, this has not been the case in the last five ODIs.
Batting teams have an average of 28.4, which is the second-lowest of all the 10 venues of this World Cup. In the last three ODIs, no team has breached the 270-run mark. Spinners are expected to produce more dismissals than fast bowlers.
There may be dew, and the captain winning the toss will likely opt to field first as batting is expected to be easier under lights.
Squads for England vs New Zealand 2023 Cricket World Cup opening match:
England: Jos Buttler (Captain), Moeen Ali, Gus Atkinson, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, David Willey, Mark Wood, Chris Woakes
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (Captain), Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitch Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Will Young
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