by: Atika Mehboob TN Sport Pakistan:
Lockie Ferguson expressed confidence as New Zealand prepares to face in-form India in the World Cup semi-final in Mumbai, emphasizing that the team sees the upcoming match as a new beginning despite their challenging journey.
India, the tournament hosts, have been exceptional, winning all nine of their group matches and aiming for a third World Cup title, the second on home soil since their 2011 triumph over Sri Lanka in Mumbai.
Contrastingly, New Zealand won their first four round-robin games but faced setbacks, losing the next four before concluding the group stage with a five-wicket victory against Sri Lanka. While the Blackcaps haven’t secured a men’s ODI World Cup yet, their track record includes reaching the finals in 2015 and 2019, with this semi-final marking their ninth appearance in the competition’s history.
Ferguson, the New Zealand fast bowler, acknowledged a few close games that didn’t go their way, including a rain-affected match against Pakistan where they scored over 400 but were beaten on the DLS method.
However, he emphasized that the team is starting fresh, stating, “So come Wednesday, it’ll be a good challenge.”
India’s dominance in the tournament has been evident, but New Zealand posed a challenge in their previous encounter, with Daryl Mitchell’s century contributing to a total of 273. Although India secured a four-wicket win, Ferguson noted that playing against India involves ebbs and flows, and the key for New Zealand is to “tighten up as much as we can.”
Reflecting on the 2019 World Cup semi-final, where New Zealand defeated India, Ferguson acknowledged the significance of that victory but highlighted the four years that have passed and the evolution of both teams. He noted that both sides are eager to compete in the upcoming semi-final.
The fast bowler praised the strong pace attack of the four teams in the knockout stages and emphasized the need for New Zealand to tighten up their game as they face India in the crucial clash.