Tuesday’s pre-match press conference began in the most atypical way with a question referring to the first recorded ascent of Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak, by New Zealand`s Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay.
Before the reporter could finish his question, capt Kane Williamson hurriedly, ‘I remember’, eliciting laughter from the journalists and broadcasters who were together. “I think I know the question, I’ll give the answer soon. I’ll answer it five different ways,” Kane replied, before being interrupted by a burst of microphone feedback.
Williamson, no doubt, knew how to go about it. One would be tempted to draw striking parallels between the ascent of Everest and the difficulty the Kiwis, losing rivals in the last two World Cups, have had in trying to beat the Indian side in Dharamsala, which they have failed to do. in the round robin.
New Zealand will certainly not be among the favorites at Wankhede, where they will have to overcome long-standing problems of lack of penetration with the ball and not being able to raise the run-rate in the latter stages of an innings if they to hit the best one day side in the world.
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Although Williamson reminded that ‘anything can happen’, if they play to their potential.” The particular thing, from what you write I don’t think it’s changed too much, but it’s okay, and India was exceptional,” said the 33-year-old, who spent a long time on the sidelines after injured his knee at the start of the Indian Premier League (IPL) this year and only returned in the World Cup after a long recovery process.
However, he insisted that the semi-finals would level the playing field for both sides and that the Kiwis would have as much chance as their opponents. If only it were so simple.
Looking to make up for years of heartbreak, Williamson and Co will be hoping to prey on any pressure India face in front of the home crowd on Wednesday.
For India, victory is non-negotiable and the Black Caps can play complete cricket knowing they have little to lose.
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