New Zealand's Martin Guptill in action. Jason Cairnduff/Reuters
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson won the toss and opted to bat against India in the first World Cup semi-final at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
All of the five previous matches in the tournament played on the Manchester ground have been won by the side batting first but the overcast conditions promised to assist India's pacemen.
"We're going to bat," said Williamson, who has been responsible for more than 28 percent of his side's runs at the World Cup, at the toss.
"It looks like a good surface. We've played a number of matches here so we know it's a good pitch," added Williamson, whose side beat West Indies by five runs at Old Trafford in a thrilling group match on June 22.
"It was 50-50 with the overheads (cloud cover) but we just have to bat well. We've got a great opportunity today."
Two-time former champions India made one change from the side that beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets at Headingley on Saturday to top the 10-team round-robin, with Yuzvendra Chahal replacing fellow spinner Kuldeep Yadav.
That meant there was no place in their side for experienced paceman Mohammed Shami.
"We would have batted first," said India captain Virat Kohli. "It is a fresh wicket and is nice and hard and not moist.
"I think it will remain similar throughout the day. With a bit of rain around, the ball will get more wet as the game goes on.
"We have played really good Cricket in Manchester. There have been two good games for us here (wins over Pakistan and the West Indies)."
"We are treating this game as normal as we can," added Kohli, whose side includes Rohit Sharma, the tournament's leading run-scorer with 647 runs.
New Zealand, the 2015 runners-up, qualified fourth after edging out Pakistan on net run-rate.
The Black Caps, appearing in their eighth semi-final but yet to win the World Cup, came into this match on the back of three straight defeats by Pakistan, Australia and England.
New Zealand made one change to the side that suffered a 119-run defeat by England at Chester-le-Street last week.
Fast bowler Lockie Ferguson, their leading wicket-taker at the tournament with 17 scalps, returned following a hamstring injury in place of Tim Southee.
India and New Zealand have yet to meet at this World Cup as their scheduled group match at Nottingham's Trent Bridge on June 13 was washed out without a ball bowled.
Rain has been forecast for Manchester on Tuesday but there are reserve days for both semi-finals and the final.
India or New Zealand will play the team that wins Thursday's second semi-final between hosts England and reigning champions Australia at Edgbaston in the July 14 final at Lord's.
India: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (capt), Rishabh Pant, MS Dhoni (wkt), Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Kane Williamson (capt), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wkt), Jimmy Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult
Umpires: Richard Illingworth (ENG), Richard Kettleborough (ENG)
TV umpire: Rod Tucker (AUS)
Match referee: David Boon (AUS)
It was a superb display by the underdog Black Caps, who came into the match on the back of three straight defeats by Pakistan, Australia and England and only qualified for the semi-finals on net run-rate, while India topped the 10-team group stage.
India and New Zealand were awarded a point each after persistent rain in Nottingham forced the abandonment of their match on Thursday − the fourth no result of this World Cup so far.
Australia and India will be aiming to finish top of the World Cup league phase and so avoid facing hosts England in the semi-finals as they prepare for the final day of round-robin matches.
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