ICL: Indian Cricket League

Kiwis believe they can win the Cup: McMillan


craigNew Zealand are capable of winning the World Cup for the first time because they believe they can do it, middle-order batsman Craig McMillan has said.

Probably the key this time is that there is a real belief, said McMillan, whose side have already posted five successive victories to emerge serious challengers to defending champions Australia’s supremacy.

New Zealand have beaten England, Canada and Kenya in group matches, and the West Indies and Bangladesh in the Super Eights. They now have six points and comfortably on course for the semifinals.

In the previous two World Cups, the New Zealand teams wanted to win but I am not sure if they believed they could win, said McMillan, who has so far scored 4,620 runs in 192 One-day Internationals (ODIs).

There is a real confidence in the squad in that if someone gets injured, someone else will do the job well. But we are aware there are going to be huge tests against Australia and Sri Lanka. We still have some hard work to do, he added.

McMillan said the team’s strength was that they did not rely on one or two players to win matches as they had plenty of all-rounders to do the job.

It’s good for us we haven’t so far relied on one person. Some teams rely on one or two guys and it puts pressure on rest of the team. In New Zealand, we have players from number one to eleven who can win us a game, he said.

We have real strength in the lower half and that’s where we can maximise the last eight-ten overs. The kind of games we have seen, that probably is the key. Most games are won and lost in those last 10 overs, he explained.

That’s one of the strengths of all-rounders batting all the way down. It will become very prevalent in the later stages of the tournament. We have been very lucky with good starts, he remarked.

McMillan has contributed richly to his teams successes in probably his last World Cup, including a half-century against 2003 semifinalists Kenya and an unbeaten 33 against the West Indies.

I think as a team we have done what we needed to do, said McMillan. Personally it’s been a very good World Cup and probably this is going to be my last. I am looking forward to contribute in every positive note. I hope it’s going to be a special one for New Zealand, he expressed.

McMillan, in and out of the team in recent years, said he was keen to make the most of the opportunity here.

It’s special for me because six to eight months ago I wasn’t expected to be here. It’s a huge opportunity to do something good in what could be a special moment for New Zealand cricket, said McMillan.

McMillan is a hard-hitting batsman capable of dominating any attack with his exciting stroke-play. He holds the record of scoring 26 runs in an over off Pakistan’s Younis Khan in the Hamilton Test in 2001.

I have always been an aggressive type of player and I have tried to bat that way. But probably for the last two series, I have been more consistent. That’s the key for me, said McMillan.

I have played different roles and at times it can be difficult. I’ve been picked and dropped at times. If it goes well, it goes well. If it doesn�t, it�s not the end of the world,� he added. New Zealand�s next match is against Ireland here on Monday.
Source:The News

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This entry was posted on Saturday, April 7th, 2007 and is filed under Cricket, Cricket Stars.

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