‘We know it is going to be an extremely good challenge’

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Kane Williamson, New Zealand captain, stated that facing India in the semifinal of the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup will be an “extremely good challenge”. The highly-anticipated clash is scheduled to be contested on November 15 at the iconic Wankhede Stadium. It will be the second time on the trot that India and the Kiwis face off in the knockout stage of the ODI World Cup after the epic semifinal clash in the 2019 edition.

Speaking ahead of the game, Williamson has opened up about his faith in rising sensation Rachin Ravindra, who is the side’s leading run-scorer in this tournament. Ravindra has so far accumulated 565 runs, at an average of 70.62 and a strike rate of 108.44. The 23-year-old has notched three centuries and two fifties in the group stage.

“Rachin has been great, the way he is scoring has been exceptional. We are expecting a sea of blue tomorrow. Special to play against India in a World Cup semi-finals. We know it is going to be an extremely good challenge. Our focus is on our cricket,” Williamson said during the pre-match press conference.

The 33-year-old went on to speak about his side’s narrow four-wicket defeat against the Rohit Sharma-led India in the league stage contested at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamsala, staing “Dharamsala was a great game but when you get into finals, things change”.

Williamson further spoke about India’s prowess in this competition, who have clinched victories in all nine games in the group stage. The right-handed batter also stated that the team playing the best cricket will clinch the title at the end of the day.

“The underdog thing.. from what you guys write, I don’t think it has changed too much. But that’s fine. India have been exceptional. They are one of the, if not the best teams going around, playing cricket that matches that. But we know as well, on that day if we play our best cricket, it certainly gives us the best chance. Come finals time, anything can happen,” he added.

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