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ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Result came as a bit of a surprise, says Coney

'Our bowling is stronger than the batting'

By Lokendra Pratap Sahi in Manchester
  • Published 11.07.19, 3:44 AM
  • Updated 11.07.19, 3:44 AM
  • a min read
  •  
The New Zealand side after winning the semi-final against India in Manchester on Wednesday (AP photo)

Jeremy Vernon Coney, a former captain of New Zealand, spoke to The Telegraph at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Excerpts...

Your reaction to New Zealand defending 239 for eight and making the 2019 World Cup final?

The result came as a bit of a surprise as I expected India to make it... A target of 240 would only have been competitive if New Zealand’s opening bowlers quickly got rid of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli... They got rid of KL Rahul too quickly... The bowlers needed to rise to the occasion and they did.

So, you weren’t confident at the 10-minute break between innings?

Not particularly.

Why?

Because Rohit alone had scored five hundreds in this World Cup and Rahul one. Virat hadn’t got a hundred, but we all know what he’s capable of.

Trent Boult and (PoM) Matt Henry’s opening spells...

Changed the semi-final for us... Then, in the middle overs, Mitchell Santner bowled so well. There was no let up in the pressure.

Quite a few feel New Zealand’s attack has been the best in this World Cup. Your take?

In the conditions, I’d agree. Our bowling is stronger than the batting.

Some words on the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-Ravindra Jadeja partnership...

Jadeja batted in a manner nobody had in the match... In fact, he’d also bowled and fielded very well. I’m surprised Jadeja’s name isn’t written down among the first three or four (when it comes to the ODI XI)... Dhoni, I thought, batted a bit slow and put pressure on Jadeja. But, then, till he was there India had a chance.

Martin Guptill’s direct throw to run out Dhoni at such a critical moment...

There you are... Guptill had a wretched World Cup till that piece of brilliance... By that one act, he helped New Zealand move to the final.

Wasn’t Kane Williamson’s captaincy outstanding?

Williamson is so calm... Presents a calm face, calm eyes. It helps if the captain can keep his emotions aside and just focus on the job. I liked the way Williamson used Jimmy Neesham as the fifth bowler. He’d looked to close the semi-final before the 50th over.

Lastly... The second semi-final, between Australia and England, is on Thursday. Who would New Zealand prefer to face?

Cannot pick and choose. Let’s wait and see.