Following a five-wicket victory over Sri Lanka, New Zealand have positioned themselves favorably to advance to the semi-final round.The Black Caps currently stand at 10 points after the completion of all league matches and boast a superior net run rate of +0.743.
“They (India) are playing a positive style of cricket and I suppose playing shots does present chances. But we’re going to be very clear with how we’re going to tackle that game,” said Boult in the post-match press conference in Bengaluru.
Boult expressed evident excitement at the prospect of facing India in the semifinals, especially in the latter’s home ground. This potential meeting sets the stage for a rematch of the 2019 semi-final clash between the two sides in Manchester, where the Kiwis emerged victorious with an 18-run win.
“I think there’ll be a lot of excitement and the prospect of that challenge … as I said, it doesn’t get any bigger than taking on India in front of 1.5 billion people. Yeah, it’s very exciting,” he said.
“To come up against the host nation, a team that’s red hot, playing good cricket – you couldn’t script it any better.”
In the league stage, New Zealand had previously encountered India, where India emerged victorious as a four-wicket winner in Dharamsala, successfully chasing a target of 274.
Boult highlighted that while not dwelling on the past outcome, the experience gained from playing against India earlier in the tournament would be beneficial for New Zealand. Boult emphasised that this experience would serve them well if the two sides meet in the semifinals.
“We’ve played India a lot of times. Quality players know these conditions very well. History suggests it’s a good wicket (at Wankhede) and, yeah, nice to have come up against them in Dharamshala.
“It was a totally different ground and different facilities, but, yeah, we’ll turn our focus to that challenge. Pressure does things to the best of players at any time. So, just look forward to taking that on,” he said.
ICC World Cup 2023: New Zealand beat Sri Lanka, are almost through to the semifinals
The left-arm pacer, who took three wickets in a fine spell against Sri Lanka, was delighted to regain his rhythm in conditions that assisted his brand of bowling.
“Personally, I like to see the ball swinging around and moving in the air. To be honest, it hasn’t really done that much throughout this World Cup.
“It almost took me back to my younger days when you’re playing ODI cricket for the first time. This afternoon here got a good start with a couple of wickets in the power play,” he added.
(With PTI inputs)