Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Cricket

Anything could happen in tight final four, insists Kiwi Williamson


Showdown: Kane Williamson is ready to face India
Showdown: Kane Williamson is ready to face India

By David Charlesworth

Kane Williamson argued every team in the last four of the World Cup is capable of beating one another as he expressed his indifference at New Zealand's status as underdogs.

The Black Caps squeaked into the knockout stages ahead of Pakistan by virtue of their superior net run-rate, finishing fourth in the table to set up a semi-final showdown against India at Old Trafford today.

New Zealand's campaign has stuttered with three consecutive defeats, while they have lost each of the last three bilateral one-day international series meetings against their next opponents.

India triumphed 4-1 on New Zealand soil earlier this year, but the Kiwis' lone success saw them skittle the Asian giants for 92 in Hamilton.

Williamson said: "Whoever you play, every side has the belief that you get to this point, you can go all the way. To do that, you basically have to beat everyone. All sides have beaten one another on a number of occasions throughout the last few years, so it's a really exciting opportunity for all teams.

"Whether we are underdogs or not, it doesn't really matter.

"It's about how we turn up and how we commit to the plans we want to implement."

Champions in 2011, India were knocked out at the semi-final stage four years ago but they have been tipped by many to go all the way again this time.

With expectation comes an intense level of pressure, but captain Virat Kohli revealed that is par for the course for his side as a result of the cricket obsession in India.

He said: "The Indian team always carries a lot of expectation and pressure whenever we play.

"We are quite used to that over the years. We are better equipped to react in these situations because we know what these kind of games and our fan base and the expectations bring.

"I can't remember the last time I stepped onto the field and thought 'It doesn't really matter what happens in this game'.

"For the Indian team there is always full stadiums and people expect you to do well."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph