Kane Williamson: We knew 240-250 was ideal for the Old Trafford pitch

New Zealand successfully defended 239 against India, the 18-run win taking it to a second consecutive World Cup final.

New Zealand players shake hands with each other after beating India by 18 runs in the World Cup semifinal against India in Manchester.   -  Reuters

Kane Williamson often does a shy half-smile, not for him the extremes of unbridled joy or soul-numbing anguish. After marshalling New Zealand well and springing a shock-defeat upon India in the World Cup semifinal here at Old Trafford on Wednesday, the skipper was measured in his words, mixing guarded praise with dry-wit.

Excerpts.

A TOUGH GAME

It was important to maintain our vitality and we know what a class side India is. We thought close to 240 was competitive on a pitch like this and it was an incredible game. We had a great starting point when we got those wickets and then the rebuilding phase gets tricky. We had some good deliveries there, sometimes they don’t take the edge but today they took.

THE JADEJA SPECIAL

The innings that (Ravindra) Jadeja played was as if he was playing on a different pitch. It was a brilliant innings and India showed what a class side it is and we had a very good game of cricket spilling over two days.

DHONI’S RUN OUT

We all know the game is a fine line. We have seen (M.S.) Dhoni finish games earlier and to get him run out with a direct throw was excellent.

A STAGGERED CONTEST

I think the guys slept pretty well. We were focusing on what we could achieve on this surface. It wasn’t a 300-wicket, it was a mid-200 wicket, 240 or 250 was ideal. And then it was a brilliant start with the ball.

THE CATCHING PHILOSOPHY

Just watch the ball and catch it. Just watch it, (perhaps say) 'someone please catch it' (grins) and if it is mine then catch it.

THE FINAL

Anybody can beat anybody, so it is important to put your feet on the ground.