India and New Zealand are set to meet each other for another time in World Cup knockouts as the iconic Wankhede gears up for the huge clash. After the completion of the league phase in World Cup 2023, the four semifinalists will give it their all as the stakes are now higher than ever before. Meanwhile, despite of India’s thumping campaign so far, head coach Rahul Dravid admits the pressure for a game like the semifinal.
Coach Dravid, who has been at the helm of India’s record nine consecutive wins in the tournament so far, spoke on the further game that lies ahead of the hosts. “I would be in-authentic if I say that there will be no pressure of semi-final. You have no guarantees to win any game of cricket. What you can do is prepare the best you can and we’ve been doing that,” Dravid told tournament’s broadcasters Star Sports after India’s win over the Dutch. “When it’s going well it looks good. One loss and everyone says you don’t know anything,” he added.
‘Shreyas is the backbone of middle order’: Dravid
Meanwhile, the head coach praised middle-order batter Shreyas Iyer for his brilliant hundred against Netherlands, claiming that is the backbone of the middle order. “Shreyas Iyer is the backbone of our middle order, and we all know how tough it has been for us to find a good No.4 batter for the last 10 years,” Dravid said on Iyer.
The 28-year-old right-handed batter played a terrific knock of 128 off 98 balls as he stitched a record 208-run stand for the 4th wicket along with the other centurion KL Rahul. He targeted the bowlers well and played his shots with ease.
Meanwhile, India captain Rohit Sharma was also full of praise for the team after the match against Netherlands. “Since we started the tournament, it was all about one game at a time. We never wanted to look too far ahead. It is a long tournament, 11 games in all if we go all the way. It was important to break it down and focus on it. We focused on one game,” Rohit said after the game.
India are now set to meet New Zealand in the first semifinal of the World Cup 2023. The clash will be a re-match of the 2019 World Cup semifinal, which India lost by 18 runs.
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