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T20 World Cup: We see it as another game, says NZ's Sodhi on match against Afghanistan

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Abu Dhabi, Nov 6 (IANS) New Zealand leg-spinner Ish Sodhi played down the hype around his team’s last match in Super 12 of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, saying that his team will approach Sunday’s match against Afghanistan as another game of cricket. New Zealand need a win against Afghanistan to move into the semi-finals while India need the Black Caps to lose to Afghanistan for keeping their semi-finals hopes alive.

“I guess looking forward to tomorrow, we see it as another game. I think if we keep it as simple as trying to adapt to the conditions best as we can and being aware of the threats that Afghanistan pose and also taking into consideration the things we’ve done really well if we can do them really well, I think then we can put on a good performance and all that other stuff takes care of itself,” said Sodhi in the pre-match press conference on Saturday.

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“Personally, I haven’t really looked at the run rates a hell of a lot. I wouldn’t kind of know at this stage what the equations are around that. It’s quite simple for us to keep focusing on what we’ve been doing well. If we put on a good performance and we come away with a win that means we go to the semis, and that will be great,” added Sodhi.

The 29-year-old leg-spinner has been cleared to play Sunday’s match after being hit on the head by a straight shot from Namibia all-rounder David Wiese on Friday.

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“Thankfully it wasn’t too bad. Unfortunately, I dropped the catch and it went through my hands. But my hands kind of lightened the blow a little bit. Definitely woke up with a little bit of a headache, but thankfully all the procedures in place have been taken and Doctor Cameron ruled out a chance of concussion, which is great.”

Sodhi thought that the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, where New Zealand will be playing their first match of the tournament, should be a good pitch to bat on.

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“I think across the board everyone speaks of it being a reasonably good batting surface. I think it’s considerably different from what Sharjah brings, a slightly smaller boundary with a quite low wicket. And hopefully, if there’s a bit of bounce on the surface, we can extract that as a bowling attack. It’s something I think we do pretty well in New Zealand.”

“Hopefully it does work out pretty well for us. The big thing for us is definitely the conditions. And I guess when we get a chance to see the wicket and see the conditions at the grounds and stuff, we can hopefully think on our feet and be instinctual when we get out there.”

–IANS

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