Although Kane Williamson acknowledged that Rohit Sharma has been the standout batsman in the World Cup so far, he has called on his bowling unit to assess conditions quickly and go for wickets regardless of the name of the batsman. Sharma is the leading run-scorer in the tournament with 647 runs.
Going into the semifinals at the back of five centuries in eight innings, Sharma poses a mountain-like challenge for any bowler. Williamson, himself one of the leading run-scorers this World Cup, admitted that the Indian vice-captain has stood even among the best. But, the New Zealand skipper is fairly positive about his bowling unit’s abilities in knocking over any player.
“There are a lot of parts to that (on stopping Rohit): First, as a bowling unit, it’s to assess conditions quickly. Rohit’s been clearly the standout batter in the tournament so far, been batting beautifully. But as we know, we’re coming to a semi final. It’s another day, where both sides will be trying to adjust to conditions, and look for early wickets regardless of what their name maybe,” Williamson said at the pre-match press conference, reported Cricbuzz.
Williamson’s bowlers have earn,ed their captain’s confidence. Lockie Ferguson, who has been used in short, explosive bursts has picked up 17 wickets at 18.58, while senior man Trent Boult has picked up 15 wickets at 24.66. Jimmy Neesham and Matt Henry have also chipped in with 11 and 10 scalps to their names respectively.
"I think the bowlers have been brilliant throughout this whole campaign. We know in cricket that every day is different. Just trying to adapt as a unit as best you can is definitely the most important thing," Williamson said.
New Zealand play India in the first semi final at Old Trafford on Tuesday. Both teams head into the match in contrasting circumstances - while the Men in Blue only lost once in the entire league stage, the Kiwis have suffered three consecutive defeats. However, the Blackcaps skipper is bullish about his team’s chances on Tuesday.
"Whether we are underdogs or not, it doesn't really matter. I think for everybody it sort of starts fresh after what was a very tough round-robin stage. Although we have qualified fourth, we have the same opportunity as anybody else does. There's only two games left in the tournament. During the round-robin we saw that anybody could beat anybody and we saw on a number of occasions that happened. Our focus once again is committing to the style of cricket we want to play that gives us the best chance,” Williamson added
During the warm up matches prior to the World Cup, New Zealand had beaten India comprehensively.
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