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Boult is ecstatic about the possibility of facing India in the semi-finals.

Boult is ecstatic about the possibility of facing India in the semi-finals.

Trent Boult, who was named Player of the Match against Sri Lanka on Thursday and helped New Zealand secure a semi-final spot at the 2023 World Cup, is excited about the possibility of a repeat of the 2019 World Cup semi-final.

Following New Zealand’s big win over Sri Lanka in Bengaluru, a good idea of what the semi-final fixtures for the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup could look like can be formed. While Pakistan and Afghanistan still have mathematical chances to beat the Black Caps, they are slim.

In all likelihood, the tournament will feature a rematch of the 2019 World Cup semi-final, with India taking on New Zealand at the Wankhede Stadium on November 15.

“I can’t speak on what they’re thinking but from our point of view to play World Cup in India and to come up against the host nation a team that’s red hot playing good cricket at a great ground – you couldn’t script it any better,” Boult said during the post-match press conference.

“So excited if that happens, I feel like we’ve done all we can from our point of view and yeah, we’ll just wait and see what happens.”

To advance to the semi-finals against New Zealand, Pakistan must win by 287 runs or in three overs after bowling England out for 100. Afghanistan’s chances are dwindling. As a result, New Zealand is the clear favorite to advance to the semi-finals,  in which case they’d be facing India.

When the teams met earlier in the competition in Dharamsala, India won by four wickets while chasing 274. New Zealand’s total of 273 is the highest by any team in this tournament against India. The conditions in Mumbai are expected to be better for batting than in Dharamsala, but Boult isn’t getting too excited.

“It’s difficult to predict the conditions at Wankhede, but history suggests it’s a good wicket, and it’s nice to have faced them in Dharamshala.”

“Totally different terrain and facilities, but we’ll turn our attention to that challenge.” Very good players, but even the best players can succumb to pressure. So just prepare to take on that challenge.”

Boult commented on India’s proactive approach with the bat, saying that it opens up possibilities for the bowling side as well, but that facing the hosts in a semi-final would be a thrilling experience.

“They’re playing a positive style of cricket, and yeah, I suppose playing shots does present opportunities – but yeah, we’re going to be very clear about how we’re going to approach that game, and if it happens, it still has to be ticked off.”

But, yes, I believe there will be a lot of excitement and anticipation for that challenge, and, as I previously stated, it doesn’t get any bigger than taking on India in front of 1.5 billion people.”

 

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