Ferguson hopes rain won't stop him taking on best

New Zealand bowler Lockie Ferguson. Photo: Getty Images
New Zealand bowler Lockie Ferguson. Photo: Getty Images
The rest of us are probably thinking a little more rain in England tonight might not be the worst result in the world.

But not Lockie Ferguson. The New Zealand fast bowler wants a crack at India's formidable top order.

India is in hot form with two wins from two games. But New Zealand is also unbeaten.

It has picked up three wins in a gentle start to the tournament.

But tonight's match at Trent Bridge represents a major step up in class for the Black Caps.

Those half-volleys with which Jimmy Neesham has been taking wickets will get thumped to the boundary by Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and company.

And New Zealand's top order will have to find a way to deal with the awkward Jasprit Bumrah and spin duo Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav.

It should be an intriguing match, although the forecast suggests there might not be much cricket.

"We want to play,'' Ferguson said.

"It's the World Cup. We're playing against India in the World Cup and it's an opportunity to get two points and we don't want to get rained-out games.

"I don't think any players do but if that happens then so be it. We can't control that but we're looking forward to playing India and getting some confidence against them.''

Ferguson will turn 28 on the day of the game and it would be quite a gift if he could find a way to remove, or at least tame, Kohli and Sharma - the No1 and No2-ranked one-day international batsmen.

"They're world-class players; you're not going to blow them out of the water.

"But if you can build up enough pressure against them and then create a half-chance, that could be the wicket and you can then build from there,'' Ferguson said.

"Obviously, they're playing some great cricket and they're one of the top teams in the competition. But we're definitely looking forward to the opportunity of playing them in England and we haven't played them for a while in England.''

India's well-placed confidence in its batting line-up would have only swelled following its impressive effort against Australia. India posted 352 for five, a total out of reach of its opponent.

The Indians paced that innings nicely and actually showed a great deal of patience early on.

"I think taking wickets up front is the key to [beating] India but, if not, creating pressure and building dots balls.''

New Zealand is likely to stick with the same XI which has served it so well to date. Having two all-rounders is perhaps not ideal for the balance of the side.

But it does mean New Zealand boasts some serious hitting power in the middle order, and an extra bowling option against a batting line-up as threatening as India possesses is important.

However, with batsman Henry Nicholls and seamer Tim Southee expected to be fit for the match, coach Gary Stead will face a couple of selection dilemmas. Former Black Caps coach Mike Hesson called for both to be included in the side earlier in the week.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka's game against Bangladesh was abandoned yesterday without a ball bowled, as a record third match in the tournament was called off due to rain.

The previous highest number of abandoned games in a World Cup was two, in 1992 and 2003.

World Cup
Upcoming match

  • India v New Zealand, 9.30pm

 

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