NEW DELHI: Captain Kane Williamson of the New Zealand cricket team expressed concern about the unpredictable weather as they prepare for their final World Cup group stage match against Sri Lanka in Chennai. With New Zealand currently holding the last available semi-final slot, their focus is on securing a victory to advance in the tournament. However, the weather forecast for the game day adds an element of uncertainty to the equation.
New Zealand, Pakistan, and Afghanistanare all tied on eight points after eight games in the World Cup, with New Zealand narrowly holding the advantage due to a superior net run rate.As they head into the crucial match against Sri Lanka, Williamson mentioned the weather conditions and how they can impact the game.

“We’ll still have to very much see what the pitch is like. There’s been a lot of weather around, and it could look different tomorrow,” said Williamson. “There’s lots of things that we can’t control, and the weather is one of those. There may be a thought in the back of your mind, but at the end of the day, our focus will be on the cricket that we want to play.”

New Zealand started their World Cup campaign with four consecutive wins in India before facing four consecutive losses. Williamson acknowledged the close matches and losses but emphasised that they have played a lot of good cricket in the tournament. The round-robin format of the World Cup provides a unique challenge as teams face different opponents, making the focus on their own performance critical.
In 2019, New Zealand also struggled to reach the semi-finals but managed to turn things around and reach the final. Williamson highlighted the experience of some players from that campaign but noted that the current focus is on the present match and conditions.
“I suppose guys have had some of those experiences, but it’s another game on another day and four years later,” said Williamson. “So, the focus is here and now and on the conditions, and how we want to adjust.”

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Additionally, Williamson mentioned that the return of pacer Lockie Ferguson, who missed two matches due to injury, would depend on the pitch conditions, highlighting the importance of adapting to the playing conditions to secure the victory they need for a spot in the semi-finals.
(With inputs from Reuters)

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