Ross Taylor is banking on his team-mate Martin Guptill to rediscover his form against England. Opening the innings, Guptill has had a below-par tournament, scoring just 158 runs in seven innings.
“He was leading run scorer in the last World Cup and he had gone into that last World Cup not scoring any runs. His confidence is down. Sometimes you need a bit of luck and he certainly needs that. But he's been training very hard and the team are fully backing him,” Taylor said ahead of New Zealand’s must-win clash against England.
With Guptill faltering, New Zealand has failed to get off to steady starts. “It is a very important position at the top of the order and, you know, getting Guppy firing is a key part to our team and if he can do that tomorrow, it certainly sets the tone for our batting unit…” Taylor said.
Lately, New Zealand captain, Kane Williamson, has been criticised by the British press for being too timid and too cautious in his approach. But Taylor backed his captain, saying: “Kane is a fantastic world-class batsman and a world-class captain. You don’t have to look far, the last couple of matches. There's some pundits out there saying he was a great captain. We lose a couple of games and he is a bad captain. He is still a great captain, leads from the front and the team respect him and I love playing under him…” Taylor said.
In the last few games, the pressure has been on batsman Williamson as the openers have struggled. “I would love as a team to take a little bit of pressure off him and score some runs and not let him do everything. In terms of Kane, he is a great captain to play under and looking forward to him hopefully continuing that good toss record that he's had over the last little while as well,” the seasoned Taylor said.
Mathematically, New Zealand will still have a fair chance of reaching the semifinals, even if the fixture against England doesn’t go its way. But Taylor wants to grab a win.
“Every time you play, you want to win and go out there and put your best foot forward. Momentum is a big part of cricket. It is not the be-all-and-end-all. But we are definitely going out there to win tomorrow and hopefully we can, whatever we do first, we can do well…” Taylor said, admitting that the wicket could witness another run feast.
On Monday, it was a high-scoring encounter between Sri Lanka and West Indies, where both the sides put up 300-plus runs.
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