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July 14, 2019

NZ happy to be underdogs at Lord’s

Sports

July 14, 2019

LONDON: It was 27 years ago when England featured in their last World Cup final.

In contrast, New Zealand played in the final of the 2015 edition.

But Kane Williamson, New Zealand’s captain, doesn’t believe that it would give any kind of his edge to his team in Sunday’s final here at Lord’s.

“We were in a different part of the world on a different surface against a different opposition, and both sides are very different from four years ago, so it’s kind of hard to compare those times,” he told reporters on Saturday.

“Whether having had experience in a final or not is a good thing, any final you get the opportunity to play in is a really positive thing.

“But at the same time, as we know in this game, it does come down to putting a performance on the board that gives us the best opportunity to win and both sides will be very much looking to do that and trying to treat the game as any other game.

“It’s just very different to four years ago. We have a very different group, a slightly different vibe and ethos and how we operate.

“But at the same time there’s a real commitment to that which is a really positive thing and it’s held us in good stead to this point, so the focus for us is about the cricket that we want to play and we want to be proud of the performance that we put on the board.

“We’ve seen a lot of support come through (from New Zealand), which is awesome. I suppose the last World Cup was at home and a lot of the attention was there on your doorstep and we had crowds of Kiwis coming to every game.

“Over here we’ve got a few scattered in amongst the majority of opposition crowds, but that’s great as well and I know we’re getting a lot of support from a long way off.”

England, who hammered New Zealand by 119 runs in the group stages of the tournament, are being seen as the favourites against New Zealand.

Williamson agrees.

“I think England rightly deserve to be favourites. Coming into this tournament from the start, they were favourites and they’ve been playing really good cricket.

“But whatever dog we are, it’s just important that we focus on the cricket that we want to play and we have seen over the years that anybody can beat anybody regardless of breed of dog.

“We are quite keen on winning as well. There’s all different bits of pressure on anybody, whether you are favourites or not.”