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T20 World Cup: New Zealand won't mind who they are playing in the final, reckons Morkel

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Dubai, Nov 12 (IANS) Former South Africa pacer Morne Morkel reckons New Zealand won’t be much concerned by their opponents, Australia, in the final of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. He added that after getting past England, New Zealand will be focusing on their preparations and controlling the controllable factors in the final at Dubai on Sunday. New Zealand had got the better of England by five wickets on Wednesday while Australia defeated a rampaging Pakistan by the same margin on Thursday.

“New Zealand won’t mind who they are playing in the final. They’ve already overcome a huge hurdle and got one over England which shows they can handle the heat when it’s on them. In a final, it’s about doing the basics as well as possible. That group is really focused on the fundamentals, but also have the ability to flick the switch to fifth gear and blow teams out of the water. Their focus will be on getting themselves ready and controlling what they can control. Whoever they come up against, they’ll be ready for them,” wrote Morkel in his column for the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Friday.

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Morkel believes that New Zealand batters Daryl Mitchell and James Neesham took the chase of 167 deep, which made it possible for New Zealand to ace the chase. While Mitchell was unbeaten in making 72 off 47 balls, Neesham played a match-changing cameo of 27 off just 11 balls. “Chasing in a semifinal, you want your big guns to fire but when the Black Caps lost Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson, the hopes of a nation were on the shoulders of World Cup newcomers Daryl Mitchell and Devon Conway. On the big stage, this was their opportunity to make a name for themselves in white-ball cricket, and they knew exactly the game they needed to play, blocking out the noise and playing every ball on its merit. That’s the important thing about T20, if one solid partnership can take the game as deep as possible and you have big hitters at the back end, anything is possible.”

The 37-year-old disclosed that his mind voice was saying New Zealand could steal the thunder from big teams like India, Pakistan, Australia and England in the tournament. “While the spotlight was on India, Pakistan, England and Australia throughout the tournament there was a little voice inside my head saying: ‘hang on don’t forget about New Zealand’. They are the current World Test champions, played in the last 50-over World Cup final and their white-ball cricket has been exceptional over the past couple of years. They are street smart and organised and have an inspirational leader in Kane Williamson.”

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–IANS

nr/bsk

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