Melbourne: New Zealand have tried to move on from thrashing champions Australia in their World Cup opener but are keen to keep the good times rolling against Afghanistan, pace spearhead Trent Boult said on Tuesday.
The Black Caps can cement their place at the top of Group 1 in the Super 12’s with a big win over the Afghans in Melbourne on Wednesday after ending an 11-year victory drought away to Australia.
New Zealand fans and media have dined out on the stunning 89-run win at the Sydney Cricket Ground last Saturday, and Boult admitted it had been difficult to put it in the rearview mirror.
Afghan spin challenge
“It is hard, but we quickly got on a plane the next day and moved into a new hotel and started preparing for a new game,” Boult told reporters at the MCG.
“The boys spoke leading into this tournament, into that game, of what it means to be here and how exciting it is to be on this stage, and T20 cricket is about fun.
“It’s about showing your skills and going out there and having a good time.” Afghanistan lost a low-scoring game by five wickets to England in their first Super 12 match in Perth but their spinners, led by all-rounder Rashid Khan, proved a handful for Jos Buttler’s batsmen.
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“Their spinners in general, yeah, big players for their team,” said Boult. “Obviously, Rashid, Mujeeb, none of them need an introduction. “They’re very quality bowlers and as a batting unit I’m sure we’ve done our homework on how to best combat them.”
New Zealand may be reluctant to change a winning side but Boult suggested all-rounder Daryl Mitchell would be available for selection after recovering from a broken finger.
“I believe he’s trained the last couple of days,” added Boult. “I can speak on behalf of Daryl and his determination and hunger to want to be out there, especially in a World Cup stage, so he’ll be doing everything he can to be out there tomorrow afternoon.”