In all likelihood, New Zealand will face India in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup semifinal at Mumbai on November 15.
For New Zealand fast bowler Trent Boult, there can be no greater thrill than taking on the host nation in a World Cup knockout match. The Indian team is on an unbeaten run in this tournament. When the two sides met in the league stage a couple of weeks ago, at Dharamshala, India won by four wickets.
Boult, however, believes that big match pressure can get to even the best in the business.
“India has quality players who know these conditions very well. They have very, very good players, but pressure does things to the best of players,” Boult said after New Zealand recorded a comprehensive victory over Sri Lanka here on Thursday.
Boult has good memories of the 2019 World Cup semifinal, when New Zealand edged out India by 18 runs.
“I can’t speak on what they (India) are thinking. But from our point of view, to play against the host nation - a team in red-hot form - in a World Cup, at a great ground… You couldn’t script it any better. There’ll be a lot of excitement. It doesn’t get any bigger than taking on India in front of 1.5 billion people,” Boult, who scalped three wickets against Sri Lanka, said.
Sri Lanka’s tournament ended with a seventh loss in nine games. Head Coach Chris Silverwood put the poor returns down to inconsistency.
“Inconsistency - it would be fair to use that word. We’ll look back on certain games and rue missed opportunities. If we’d have taken the opportunities that were put our way, this could have looked a lot different. But the fact is that we have been inconsistent,” Silverwood said.
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