ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: New Zealand coach Gary Stead says Kiwis need to perform collectively to conquer semi-finals

New Zealand are almost confirmed of a semi-finals spot and Gary Stead was confident his team had put losses to Pakistan, Australia and England behind them as they head to the knockout stage.

Reuters, Jul 05, 2019 16:24:28 IST

New Zealand coach Gary Stead has backed his misfiring side to find their lost form in the Cricket World Cup and advance to their second successive final.

Stead’s team are almost certainly going to seal the fourth semi-final spot later on Friday despite ending the group phase with three successive losses.

ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: New Zealand coach Gary Stead says Kiwis need to perform collectively to conquer semi-finals

File image of New Zealand cricket team's coach Gary Stead. AFP

Pakistan would need to beat Bangladesh by 316 runs at Lord’s to overtake New Zealand on net run rate and even Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed was not convinced it was achievable.

It would be the eighth time New Zealand have advanced to the semi-finals and Stead was confident his team had put losses to Pakistan, Australia and England behind them as they head to the knockout stage.

“Our first goal was to make the semi-finals and we’re pretty sure we’re going to be there now so that in itself is a really good thing,” Stead told reporters.

“There are some individuals who obviously aren’t getting the runs and wickets that they want to.

“But cricket is a harsh game and we all know that you’re not going to be perfect every day. As long as we as a team can perform collectively well then that’s our best chance of going further in the tournament.”

Stead’s team would need to fire on all cylinders in the semi-finals, where they would face the top-qualifier, either Australia (14 points) or India (13). Both have one group game each to play.

New Zealand have 11 points, courtesy of a fast start when they beat Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan then had their game against India washed out.

Centuries from captain Kane Williamson gave them tense victories over South Africa and West Indies but since then they have failed to advance their points tally.

Critics believe they were going backwards at the wrong end of the tournament, although the side has realistically failed to produce a dominant performance since their 10-wicket win over Sri Lanka and the batsmen have struggled to score runs.

The openers in particular have failed to give them a start.

Since an unbroken 137-run stand between Martin Guptill and Colin Munro against Sri Lanka, the pair had partnerships of 35, nought, 12, nought and five.

Henry Nicholls replaced Munro against Australia but he and Guptill have only had partnerships of 29 and two.

Stead, however, was confident the batters would stand up in the semi-finals.

“We know from the opening position spot those guys have had a tough tournament,” Stead added. “(But) Martin Guptill can go out there and we know he’s capable of getting a double hundred.

“He could do that in the semi-final and all of a sudden we won’t be talking about form.

“We are under no illusions. It will be a tough tough game of cricket but if we can fire a few shots and play at the best of our ability then I think we’re a real chance.”

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Updated Date: Jul 05, 2019 16:24:28 IST






Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 4366 104
5 Australia 3270 99
6 Sri Lanka 3795 95
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
6 Pakistan 5019 98
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7748 277
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4720 262
4 India 8620 261
5 Australia 5471 261
6 New Zealand 4784 252