Bengaluru: Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium may witness a high-voltage World Cup semifinal between India and New Zealand, with pacer Trent Boult expressing hope that India’s aggressive playing style could provide opportunities for the Kiwis to halt the hosts’ red-hot run.
Following their convincing five-wicket win over Sri Lanka, New Zealand has positioned itself favourably for a spot in the last four, accumulating 10 points in the league matches with a superior net run rate of +0.743.
“In playing a positive style of cricket, India might present chances. But we’re going to be very clear with how we’re going to tackle that game,” Boult, who was ajudged the Player Of The Match for his spell of 3/37, said at the post-match press conference.
The left-arm pacer, excited about the prospect of facing India in the semifinals, reflected on the anticipation of a challenging encounter, reminiscent of the 2019 semifinals in Manchester, where New Zealand emerged victorious by 18 runs.
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“There’ll be a lot of excitement in taking on India in front of 1.5 billion people. Yeah, it’s very exciting. To come up against the host nation, a team that’s red hot, playing good cricket – you couldn’t script it any better,” he said.
While New Zealand faced India once in the league stage and suffered a four-wicket defeat in Dharamsala, Boult emphasized that the experience would be valuable if they meet in the semifinals.
“We’ve played India a lot of times. Quality players know these conditions very well. History suggests it’s a good wicket (at Wankhede) and, yeah, nice to have come up against them in Dharamshala. Pressure does things to the best of players at any time. So, just look forward to taking that on,” he commented.
Delighted to regain his rhythm with a three-wicket haul against Sri Lanka, Boult expressed his preference for swinging conditions, something not frequently seen in this World Cup.
“Personally, I like to see the ball swinging around and moving in the air. To be honest, it hasn’t really done that much throughout this World Cup. This afternoon here got a good start with a couple of wickets in the power play,” he said.
(With Inputs From PTI)