Semifinal berth secured, New Zealand are now keen to find out which team between Australia and India make the last four cut, and batsman Ross Taylor said his team is not leaving the city without watching the virtual quarterfinal, which could be the “game of the tournament”.
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“It’s going to be a great game, probably the game of the tournament. Theoretically, it’s the quarterfinal. We are not leaving Kolkata tomorrow. I will be in my room watching it. Hopefully, the best team wins,” Taylor said after New Zealand’s comprehensive 75-run win over Bangladesh on Saturday.
Having remained unbeaten so far in Super 10 stage, New Zealand entered the WT20 semifinal as table toppers from group 2 and now the game between Australia and India in Mohali on Sunday will decide the second semifinalist from this group.
New Zealand will travel to New Delhi for their semifinal on March 30 and will face Group 1 runners-up.
“T20 is a very fickle game. All it takes is a world class batsman to take it away from you. The bowlers have done a pretty good job the way things have gone for us so far. We got to enjoy the success of everybody. Every bowler has played their part,” Taylor, who scored a quickfire 28 off 24 balls, said.
He said the iconic Martin Crowe, who passed away recently, played a massive role in his career.
“He had a big impact on my career. After the tournament I’m sure we will think about him more. We’re taking game by game. I’m sure looking down enjoying the way we have played so far,” said the 32-year-old.
The veteran cricketer insisted that the team showed tremendous character to fill the void left by Brendon McCullum.
“It’s probably a coincidence that (we made successive knockouts in world tournaments). Over the last few years, we have got some pretty good teeth in our cricket. Losing Brendon is a big thing at the top of the order but shows you the depth the New Zealand side have at the moment. Whoever XI go out there in the middle, we are very comfortable in our roles and confident of doing the job for the team. The team’s very happy,” he said.
Bangladesh pacer Mustafizur Rahman, whose career best 5/22 went in vain in Saturday, as the Kiwis managed a competitive 145 for eight in their stipulated 20 overs and then bowled the Bangladeshis out for 70.
“This was the first time I played him. He bowled outstanding. I think he’s only 20 years old. What makes him tough is that he’s got a unique action. He’s quite hard to pick up early on in your innings. He’s very smart and the way he bowls, some of the best players in the world have struggled against him,” he said.
Mustafizur is going to be his teammate at Sussex, and Taylor said: “I think he’s a very good selection for Sussex captain Luke Wright. I’m heading off to Sussex after this. He will also play IPL as well as Sussex in county. He’s going to be a very good signing.”
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