New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was at his wittiest best when he said it is the fight that matters rather than “breed of the dog” as his side geared up to take on favourites England in the summit clash of the World Cup here Sunday.
Williamson’s comments were in reference to the hostile British media’s constant queries on how it feels to go into the finale as “underdogs”. The members of the ‘Fleet Street’ asked him same questions in various manners mostly pertaining to dealing with defeats and how he plans to do that.
“A lot of people say that on a number of occasions which is great and I think England rightly so deserve to be favourites,” the Black Caps skipper said on the eve of the match at the iconic Lord’s stadium.
“But whatever dog we are, it’s just important that we focus on the cricket that we want to play. We have seen over the years that anybody can beat anybody regardless of the breed of dog,” Williamson said with a smile.
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The follow-up question was bit more offensive as a local reporter asked how would it feel to become party poopers, pre-empting that big party is on the cards.
“Party-poopers? You talking about dogs again. Underdogs? Look, we are really looking forward to the occasion and, like I say, the end point and the result, there’s a lot of time between now and that point,” said Williamson in a more serious tone.
“You have to deal with a number of different things, whether it’s different moments of pressure, whether it’s different moments of momentum and we have to be prepared to deal with all of those again.”
The next question was a bit weird as a British journalist asked whether he loves winning more or does he hate losing, Williamson curtly replied: “I prefer winning than losing [smiling]. That is probably the best way to say it.
“Any experience that you have is an opportunity to learn and sometimes tough experiences, being on the wrong side of results, can sometimes slap you in the face and give you a glaring lesson and if you ignore that, I don’t think that is a positive thing.”
Williamson said New Zealand would look to put up a performance to give them the best possible opportunity to come out on top against England.
“Whether having had experience in a final or not is a good thing. But at the same time as we know in this game nothing promises, so it does come down to putting a performance on the board that gives us the best opportunity to win,” he said.
Williamson said that his team’s performance on Sunday will epitomize the fighting qualities and all hard work that has gone in over the years. “I guess anything’s possible,” the New Zealand skipper said.
He added,“I guess when you take yourself back to that point in time, it feels like a long way away and you make a few small steps forward and you work pretty hard together as a group and next thing you might find yourself here.”