The countdown has begun for the Super 10 stage of ICC World Twenty20 2016; hosts India will take on New Zealand in the opening game on Tuesday. At the pre-match conference, New Zealand skipper, Kane Williamson turned the tables by quoting that ‘Anything can happen in T20 cricket’.
India is going into the tournament as favourites to win the cup, the hosts have won ten matches out of eleven they have played this year also including the title of Asian champions. But, New Zealand will bring a different challenge altogether at Jamtha, Nagpur for the home team. The records are also in the favour of the touring side, as they hold a comfortable lead over India of 4-0 in T20 internationals.
Williamson emphasized on the fact that it doesn’t matter what the records suggests, all that matter is how you perform on the given day. He said “I don’t think our previous record against India matters at this stage. We go into tomorrow’s game with a clean slate.” According to media reports, Williamson said: “We have got a dangerous side just like every other team in this tournament…anything can happen.”
Kane is NZ’s most prolific batsman currently and is scoring heavily across all formats. The Jamtha track has a reputation of assisting spinners and the slower-ball bowlers will test the strength of New Zealand’s batting line-up who are studded with big names like – Taylor, Munro, Anderson, Guptill and skipper Williamson himself. After the test series loss against Aussies, New Zealand will look to shift gears quickly and get into the T20 mode to start the campaign on a high note.
The skipper told media “We had good preparations in the UAE and Mumbai (warm-up games). We are expecting spin to play a big part in Nagpur…[but] 20-20 is pretty fickle, so anything can happen in a T20 match.”
The skipper ended the conference on an emotional note as he spoke about the recently retired New Zealand’s skipper Brendon McCullum. He said, “We were fortunate to have Brendon (McCullum) leading us, he will be watching us closely.”