Kiwis geared up for final assault

“I wish we had another day (before the final),” the Kiwi skipper told newsmen. “It was exhausting to get through, but come tomorrow, the adrenalin will take over and everyone will be pretty excited about playing in the final.”

New Zealand’s first aim had been to clear the semifinal stage, a hurdle at which they have stumbled often in the past. “Once you have achieved what you set out to achieve, you realise there is immense desire to go all the way,” Vettori noted, ruling out any slackening in intensity. “There’s no relief in the camp. It is all about how we are going to win tomorrow as opposed to it’s great we made it. It’s pleasing for me as captain to hear those sentiments.”

The spate of injuries that has threatened to undermine their campaign has made the march to the final sweeter, Vettori conceded. “If you look at the players who have missed out like Ryder, Oram and Tuffey and almost Elliott, they have been important players for us in the past,” he pointed out. “But the guys who’ve come in and those already in the team have stepped up and made the loss of those players easier to handle. The reason we have come so far is because we’ve had team performances. A number of guys have stepped up and allowed us to win.”

Australia have played – and won – their last three games at Centurion while New Zealand’s last three games have been at the Wanderers.

“It is possibly a disadvantage for us, but it seems like they’ve been good wickets to play on here.  Australia’s top-order has been outstanding. For us to have a chance, we must dismiss their top order which won’t be easy.”

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