No favorites in ‘good to watch’ World Cup: Ross Taylor | Cricket News


ADELAIDE (Australia): Former New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor says there are no clear favorites so far in a wide open T20 World Cup as conditions in Australia maintained a level playing field.
Defending champions Australia bowed out of the tournament after England’s win over Sri Lanka on Saturday, a result that sent the Three Lions into the Group 1 semi-finals alongside New Zealand.
Less prestigious teams had their moments in a cup upset of Namibia who shocked Asian champions Sri Lanka in the opener to Ireland who knocked out two-time champions West Indies in the first round.
England suffered a shock defeat to Ireland in a rain-hit Super 12 match and Zimbabwe stunned Pakistan in a last-ball thriller in Perth.
“New Zealand, South Africa and Australia were the teams that struggled the most with their form leading up to it and here we are talking about South Africa and New Zealand making the semi-finals,” Taylor told AFP.
“It’s really about the day and that’s what I’ve enjoyed about this World Cup. The team performing on the day has a big impact, some of these upsets and stuff like that.”
India, South Africa, Pakistan and Bangladesh battle it out for two Group 2 semi-finals on Sunday.
From the wet weather in Melbourne, which saw three of the four washouts, to the windy and bouncy Perth and the cool Adelaide, the pitches in Australia offered a great variety.
Last year’s tournament in the United Arab Emirates favored the chasing team as 12 out of 13 matches played at the Dubai International Stadium were won by the team bowling first.
“When you look at the UAE leg, the draw played a big part, but here, to play at so many different places and adapt, it was good to see,” said Ross, who will be out of internationals in April cricket took place.
New Zealand, who lost the final to Australia in Dubai, became the first team to reach the last four with captain Kane Williamson finding form in his side’s last Super12 match against Ireland.
Williamson hit 61 off 35 deliveries to guide his side to a 35-run win on Friday and now await their semi-final opponents from the other group.
“Any time you score runs, no matter who the opposition is, you’re going to gain confidence,” Taylor said of Williamson.
“He’s been under scrutiny for a while now. But I think the way he played, he had to get a score and he silenced his critics a little bit longer.”
The perennial underdogs of world cricket, New Zealand have made two semi-finals, including in the 2007 inaugural edition, but have never won the title.
Ask Taylor if they look favorites this time around and the 38-year-old is happy to accept.
“Yes, I think so, there is an opportunity.” he said. “I think New Zealand have always been like the underdogs and every time we get that mark (of favourites) we try to take it.”
Apart from a reliable batting unit, which includes this edition’s second centurion Glen Phillips and Devon Conway, the Black Caps have a powerful pace attack.
The veteran pace duo of Trent Boult and Tim Southee are still sharp with 13 wickets between them, but Taylor is impressed with the South African speedsters.
“That’s why South Africa did so well. They got the form and the best bowling team in the tournament on bounced wickets,” Taylor said.
“(Kagiso) Rabada, (Lungi) Ngidi, (Anrich) Nortje, (Wayne) Parnell, that’s a pretty formidable and balanced bowling team.”
Taylor also praised Williamson for his leadership skills with “good lieutenants” in Southee and Boult at his service.
Taylor represented New Zealand in 112 Tests, 236 ODIs and 102 T20Is, scoring 18,199 runs across formats in an illustrious career spanning 16 years between 2006-2022.


Source link

Leave a Comment