New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson has acknowledged India’s imperious form in the ongoing World Cup and that they have “adjusted nicely” throughout but believes that “anything can happen” in the semifinals.
Williamson also seems fairly comfortable with the “underdogs” tag heading into the knockout fixture despite his team’s overwhelming record over the Men in Blue in the ICC knockout ties over the years.
“The underdog thing — from what you guys write I do not think it has changed too much, but that is fine, and India have been exceptional. India are one of the, if not the best team going around and playing cricket that matches that, but we know as well on our day when we play our best cricket, it certainly gives us the best chance, and anything can happen,” Kane told while addressing the media on the eve of the first semifinal.
The 33-year-old has endured a tough time personally battling injuries one after another but considers himself fortunate enough to be available for the high-profile fixture.
“An interesting journey for sure, from sort of, it (comeback) not being a chance to getting close and it becoming a reality and something to target, and certainly feeling really grateful to be here and then to get back and then break my thumb. It is not funny. It was quite frustrating and testing but still feeling that it had not ruled me out. It is nice to be fitter than perhaps I was yesterday and be sitting here,” he added.
The Kiwi captain is also aware that the hosts will enjoy an overwhelming support at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday, November 15 but considers it a “special” opportunity and a challenge that the Blackcaps are looking forward to.
“We are expecting a fairly blue crowd that will be supporting their team and no doubt they will be very passionate about that. But at the same time, as a player, when you get the opportunity to play in front of those sorts of crowds as well, it is special.
“We have got a small country that does not always fill out the stadiums but you still appreciate the atmosphere that it brings.
“Not many people get that opportunity, playing against India in a World Cup semifinal is special and something to appreciate and look forward to,” he mentioned.
He also heaped praise on the up-and-coming sensation Rachin Ravindra. Rachin has been New Zealand’s leading run-getter at the ongoing spectacle and has aggregated 565 runs in nine games at an astounding average of 70.62.
“Quite incredible really, Ravindra burst onto the scene and in a big way in a role that perhaps was not sort of natural maybe within our environment, he did a bit of it domestically, but to do what he has done so far in this tournament with his feet firmly on the ground has been really special,” he said.
“He is an incredibly special and talented player and a fantastic individual in the environment. It is not just the volume of runs that he has achieved so far but how he has been scoring them and how it has been geared towards trying to move the team forward,” he added.
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