Dharamsala, Oct 21: Just like India, their opponents in Sunday’s match at the HPCA Stadium, New Zealand come into the game with an unbeaten record. But for a fleeting moment in their game against Afghanistan at Chennai, New Zealand slipped to 110-4 after being 109-1.
But stand-in captain Tom Latham (68) and Glenn Phillips (71) took time before unleashing themselves on the Afghanistan bowling attack to share a 144-run stand for the fifth wicket to take New Zealand to 288-6, a total enough to get their fourth win on the trot.
Ahead of the clash against India, Latham expressed confidence from the fightback against Afghanistan helping them get past any tough situation when they take the field in Dharamsala on Sunday.
“It was obviously satisfying to be put under pressure. Obviously throughout the start of the innings we were on top and then there was a period of the game were Afghanistan put us under a lot of pressure. For us to overcome that sort of tough period, just to absorb a little bit of pressure, and then once we felt the time was right, put a bit of pressure back on them.”
“I guess to get the score that we did from the position we're in was really satisfying. So, if we're faced with that situation tomorrow, whoever it may be, then if we're able to absorb a bit of pressure and then finally put it back on the Indian team, whether that be with bat and ball, that's going to be really important.”
“So just trying to find the right time to do that. I guess that comes down to the communication between the team and whether what they say is the right thing to do at the right time. Another contest that's going to be pretty fascinating to watch,” said Latham in the pre-match press conference.
New Zealand last lost to India in the 2003 ODI World Cup and since then, the Blackcaps have got the better of the hosts’ in the global event. Latham was unsure over the factors which have given New Zealand the upper hand over India in the major event.
“I'm not sure to be honest. They're a fantastic team. They've been playing some great cricket for a long period of time. We've had some great contests in ICC events, but also in bilateral series, whether that be home or away. We've played each other quite a lot over recent years which has been really cool.”
“For us it's just about trying to play our game plan as best we can and try to execute it as well as we can and if we do that then we know we can beat any team in the world on our day. So, we've spoken about this tournament that anyone can beat anyone on their day and it's about whoever turns up on that specific day and plays well. So, tomorrow's going to be no different.”
Latham, who noted that dew had started to form in Dharamshala from 5pm, does not believe that New Zealand’s new-ball bowlers match-up against the Indian top-order will decide the match’s outcome.
In the 2019 World Cup semi-final, Trent Boult and Matt Henry had taken out the Indian top-order quickly, reducing them to 5-3 in a chase of 240, to set the base for an 18-run win in Manchester.
“There's many factors that lead into a game. I don't think it's one specific area that you can nail down. It's obviously playing well for 50 overs in both innings – which is really important. But as you said, India's top order have been fantastic this tournament. Again, our bowling attack has done a really good job up front as well.”
“So that's going to be a great contest with bat and ball and obviously vice versa with Indian seamers in our top order. If you look at the match-ups throughout our game against both sides and there's some pretty good matchups there. Throughout the whole innings of both innings it's going to be really you know really tight contest and I'm sure both sides are really looking forward to it.” (IANS)