Kane Williamson has stated that warm-up games don't carry the same intensity as an actual match, referring to the encounter between New Zealand and India on Saturday. New Zealand completely decimated India as they wrapped them up for 179 before chasing down the target comfortably in the 38th over.
New Zealand had a great warm-up encounter against India as the opponents were completely decimated with the swing on offer. The third-ranked side followed it up with a sublime chase of 180 in just 37.1 overs. Tom Latham had injured his finger while keeping in the unofficial ODIs that New Zealand XI played against Australia XI, which ruled him out of the first two warm-up games.
Tom Blundell was named as a replacement but he could only face two balls. Among the other batting options, Henry Nicholls played in the middle order and scored an unbeaten 15 but Colin Munro scored only four runs at the top of the order. However, that didn't stop the Kiwis from winning and skipper Kane Williamson was delighted with the win against India.
“Obviously, warm-up games don't carry the same intensity, but it was good for us. Henry's good, he can bat at the top and in the middle. And with Tom's finger being injured, we wanted to have Munro up there to give us options. Facing a quality side like India and scoring some runs is always good,” he said at the post-match press conference, reported Cricbuzz.
Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, and KL Rahul fell to the wildly swinging deliveries of Trent Boult. The southpaw ended up with four wickets while James Nisham picked three. Tim Southee, Colin de Grandhomme and Lockie Ferguson picked one wicket each. The spinners Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi did not have much of a role to play in their combined six overs. The skipper looked to give more chances to the spinners in the next warm-up match.
"With the new ball, there was a little bit of seam movement, not too much swing. We didn't get too much from the spinners but hopefully we can get them some work in the second warm-up game. It was quicker in the first innings than the second innings, it got slower later on,” expressed the 28-year-old.
The Kiwis last played an ODI game on February 20 against Bangladesh but still put up a fine show. The weather was overcast initially but the skies were clear very soon, as pointed out by Ross Taylor.
“Didn't see the sun as often as I saw today from when I got here. Bowlers had a good hit. Haven't played for a long time as a team. Felt rusty at the start. Getting over jetlag and everything. But that's why we warm up,” said Taylor.
It is highly anticipated that high scoring encounters will be witnessed throughout the World Cup but the pitch at The Oval was quite grassy. Taylor felt that it will be great if the pitch assists the bowlers.
“Definitely a little bit in there, a bit of swing. Been a lot of talk about big scores, but if the ball does swing like that, it'll be great,” reckoned the veteran batsman.
The Wellington-born player spoke about his blinder of a catch at the slip to dismiss Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the 29th over, bowled by James Neesham. "[The sharp catch to dismiss Bhuvi] I didn't really see it, but I'll take it,” expressed the 35-year-old.
New Zealand will face West Indies at Bristol on Tuesday for their second warm-up match and Taylor hoped his side will have a good time.
“The second game against West Indies would be good too,” he signed off.
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