After defeating India by 18 runs in Manchester on Wednesday to enter the finals of the ongoing ICC Men's Cricket World Cup, Kiwi batsman Ross Taylor said that whoever the team plays in the finals, the Kiwi side would be considered as underdogs.
"Whoever we play in the finals, we will be the underdogs. We haven't displayed a perfect game yet. It's my fourth World Cup, it's a tough place to be. The Indian team was very positive and they wished us luck for the final," Taylor told reporters.
The match between India and New Zealand had become a two-day affair as rain halted the game on the scheduled match day and the contest had to be played on the reserve day.
On Tuesday the Kiwi side had scored 211/5 after 46.1 overs with Ross Taylor and Tom Latham still at the crease. When the match resumed on Wednesday, the Kiwi side capitulated and they just managed to put 240 runs on the board. However, the right-handed Taylor said that 240 was a good total and the bowlers did a good job in dismissing Indian top order quickly.
Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, and Rohit Sharma all managed to score just one run and the team was reduced to 5/3. Trent Boult dismissed Kohli whereas Matt Henry sent Rahul and Sharma back to the pavilion.
"I woke up at 3 this morning. I did not know how will I bat today. It was a Test match feeling almost, being not out overnight. We talked yesterday about 240 as a competitive total. I don't think a lot of people believed in us. It was nice to see the sun come out this morning, our bowlers were very exceptional in taking the first three wickets for just five runs," Taylor said.
"240 was always the goal. Fantastic run-out by Jadeja to dismiss me, we could have pushed on more, but 240 was a good total," he added.
On Tuesday, the Kiwi side had won the toss and they opted to bat first. But the Indian bowlers bogged down New Zealand's batsmen. The Kiwi side scored at a run-rate of just four for the major part of the innings. However, Taylor said skipper Kane Williamson was very determined to grind his way through for the team.
"Kane was out there. He was also struggling yesterday. It's tough when you are 25 of 50 balls but Kane was very adamant to stay in there. He said he will be more aggressive and take more risks to bring some momentum our way. It's a proud moment for our team to make the World Cup finals. We just need to enjoy the moment," Taylor said.
New Zealand ended India's campaign at the World Cup as they defeated the Men in Blue by 18 runs. India got off to a horrendous start while chasing a moderate target of 240 on the reserve day. The Kiwi bowlers rattled the top-order of India. Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni rebuilt the innings and added 116 runs.
Trent Boult changed the match contours as he dismissed Jadeja. Towards the end when the onus was on Dhoni, Martin Guptill pulled off a close run out. India were bundled out on 221. Earlier, Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson helped New Zealand post 239 runs for the loss of eight wickets in a rain-hit innings after electing to bat.