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regular-article-logo Sunday, 26 May 2024

ICC World Cup semi-final: Kane Williamson & Co. to give their best before ‘blue crowd’

New Zealand are always underestimated, even after reaching the final of the previous two ODI World Cups but Williamson is unperturbed

Our Special Correspondent Mumbai Published 15.11.23, 10:36 AM
Kane Williamson at nets on Tuesday.

Kane Williamson at nets on Tuesday. Reuters

Kane Williamson, the gentleman cricketer of the modern times, can be hilarious. He chuckled through at the start of the news conference on Tuesday when the mike refused to function and the technician made all efforts to fix up the problem.

Then when one reporter wanted to compare Edmund Hillary scaling Mount Everest in 1953 with the team’s chances of winning the World Cup this time, Williamson quipped, “yeah I remember it (Hillary’s feat) clearly.” His answer was met with peals of laughter.

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New Zealand are always underestimated, even after reaching the final of the previous two ODI World Cups but Williamson is unperturbed.

“The underdog thing... from what you guys write, I don’t think it has changed too much. But that’s fine, and India have been exceptional... one of, if not the best team going around...

“But we know as well, on our day, when we play our best cricket, it certainly gives us the best chance. And, come finals time, anything can happen… It’s very much a focus on our cricket again: we’ve played some good cricket throughout, we’ve had a couple of narrow losses and a few wins along the way.”

Williamson has only made three appearances in this edition due to his injuries. “It’s been an interesting journey, from not being a chance to getting close and it becoming a reality and something to target.

“(I was) certainly feeling really grateful to be here, and then to get back and then break my thumb… it was quite frustrating and testing. It hadn’t ruled me out, so I still was grateful for that and it’s nice to be fitter than perhaps I was yesterday… these tournaments are special.”

A partisan crowd on Wednesday night will do nothing to disturb New Zealand’s concentration. “We’re expecting a fairly blue crowd that will be supporting their team and no doubt, they’ll be very passionate about that,” Williamson said.

“When you get the opportunity to play in front of those sorts of crowds, it is special. We remember over the years, a number of different crowds that we’ve had that haven’t always been our own fans, in fact, often they’re not... But you still appreciate the atmosphere that it brings, and I’m sure there’ll be a good one tomorrow (Wednesday).”

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