Manchester: New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson found it hard to describe the happy feeling of shocking India and reaching the World Cup final on Wednesday.
“It was a brilliant fight by our guys. We know the class of India but our start was outstanding. It was a great effort,” remarked a smiling Williamson.
“We have a really good bunch of guys. It was a tough game. We had to assess conditions quickly and I think both sides felt that it wasn’t a high-scoring track. We thought that 240-250 will help us to put India under pressure. The guys were able to do that in the middle and at the back end without going too hard,” added Williamson.
Williamson then went on to sportingly hail India. “With the new ball, our bowlers moved the ball both off the seam and in the air. We needed to put pressure on that world class batting line-up of India. They showed why they are a world class side when they took it really deep to a position where they could have won it through MS (Dhoni) and (Ravindra) Jadeja. Our character was tested and we came out on top.”
Asked about Kohli’s statement that India lost to 45 minutes bad cricket, Williamson said: “It was a brilliant start for us with the ball and I guess on the other side of that coin, India wouldn’t have been as happy with that start. There were some good deliveries in there. Sometimes they take the edge and sometimes they don’t. They did for us today and it put us in a good position.”
Williamson candidly admitted that till Dhoni was run out, his team wasn’t sure of the win. “We all know the game is a fine line in a number of ways. But that run-out was significant. We’ve seen Dhoni finish games from those similar positions on a number of occasions.”
He gave a big compliment to Jadeja, saying he batted like it was a different wicket than the one everyone was batting. “The innings that Jadeja played, it was like he was playing on a different wicket, really. He timed the ball beautifully well. He was very clear in how he operated in that partnership with Dhoni, sort of swung things to parity, perhaps even them having the momentum going into the last few overs.
“They showed those fighting qualities that we expect from our team and they showed that, with the class side that they are and you do expect from India and they did soak it up even after 20-4 which was a really tough start. So, a very good game of cricket, spanning over two days, which is unusual, but a great game all the same.”
Does beating India give him the confidence to win the final? “I mean, every game throughout the round-robin was worth a couple of points so they were all important. Obviously, a semi-finals is worth a few more than two points. But you know, we’ll go into another match and try and implement similar things that are important to our side, that gives us the best chance of success. We turn up on the day like a lot of other matches and anybody can beat anybody. There are a lot of factors involved within that that will play their role, whether it’s a final, or another game. So it’s important that feet are on the ground and we look forward to that challenge.”
Asked whether he has made a lot of Indian fans angry and plunged a billion people into state of mouring, Williamson responded: “I hope they’re not too angry. Obviously, the passion for the game in India is unrivalled and we are all fortunate to play this sport and have a country like India be right behind it and the support that they have for their home team. But hopefully we can adopt 1.5 billion supporters and they’ll be supporting us.”