Manchester: One of the senior-most players in the New Zealand team, Ross Taylor’s knock of 74 proved to be crucial in the World Cup semi-final against India, but what was even more challenging for the former skipper was having to resume his innings on Wednesday morning after the game was stopped due to rain on Tuesday in the 47th over of the innings.
“I woke up at three in the morning so I didn’t know how I was going to go out and bat. It was such a strange one, it was a Test match feeling almost, being not out overnight and being a bit restless.
“But we talked about 240 being what Kane (Williamson) and I thought was a very competitive total. I don’t think a lot of people believed us. It was a really slow wicket and if anything it got better to bat once it rained.
“The big boys up front were fantastic getting those three wickets and from there it was nice to be ahead of the game. Jadeja and Dhoni nearly took it away from us. There was some brilliance out there, the catch of Jimmy Neesham, the run-out of Martin Guptill without even the keeper there. Those highlights in a few years’ time will be something the team will never forget,” he said.
Taylor said that dismissing Dhoni held the key for the Kiwis. “The run out broke India’s heart I suppose because Dhoni has won the game from that situation many a times. Once we got him, we were pretty confident of the result. We are happy and proud to be in the final, regardless of who it is going to be between England and Australia,” he explained.
Taylor also added that the Kiwis are now better equipped than in 2015 to win the World Cup. “It was strange last time. We played so well throughout the tournament but then jumped on a plane and played in a country we hadn’t played in for the whole tournament.
- Cricket World Cup India vs New Zealand: Did umpiring error cost MS Dhoni his wicket?
- Cricket World Cup: Dhoni deserved the ‘disgraceful exit’, says Pakistan minister Fawad Chaudhry
- Cricket World Cup: Two fans die as India lose semi-final thriller to New Zealand
- Cricket World Cup India vs New Zealand: MS Dhoni's batting position baffles Tendulkar, Ganguly
- Cricket World Cup 2019: Vettori wants Kiwis to build on ‘best ever’ ODI display
“I’d be lying if I said we weren’t a bit overawed by the change of scenery. I think we know what to expect, the pressures that come with it, we’ve been there before. You just have to enjoy it, it’s the Home of Cricket, I can’t think of a better place to play a final. Whether it’s England or Australia, we have to enjoy the moment, put our best foot forward and hope for the best,” he said.
Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar, meanwhile, requested Dhoni to not retire, following rumours that the former Indian captain was all set to end his illustrious career.
“These days, I have been hearing that you plan to retire. Please don’t think this way. The country needs you and it is my request, too, that you don’t allow even the thought of retirement to enter your mind,” Mangeshkar tweeted in Hindi.
The buzz on Dhoni’s retirement gathered force after India lost the World Cup semi-final match to New Zealand on Wednesday.
Apart from requesting Dhoni to not retire, Mangeshkar also left an encouraging note for Team India, to help them tide over their defeat. She dedicated her 1994 song, “Akash ke us paar bhi”, to the Men in Blue. The song is penned by Gulzar and composed by Hridaynath Mangeshkar.
“We did not win yesterday, but we didn’t lose. I dedicate this song by Gulzar sahab to our team,” she said in another tweet.