Kiwis not to take Pakistan lightly: Santner
LONDON: New Zealand will take the field against Pakistan as clear favourites. And not without reason.
The Black Caps have 11 points from six matches (one of their games was washed out) and are still unbeaten in the World Cup.
Pakistan, in contrast, are languishing far behind with just five points from six matches and barely managed to survive with a win against South Africa on Sunday at Lord’s. But New Zealand made it clear on Tuesday that they would give Pakistan due respect when the two sides clash in a World Cup match at Edgbaston on Wednesday.
Mitchell Santner, New Zealand’s all-rounder, said his team won’t take Pakistan lightly. “I think they’re very dangerous. Obviously, they’ve had a pretty good record over here,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
“They won the Champions Trophy a couple of years ago, and they’ve come off a pretty good win against South Africa.
“We’ve played Pakistan a lot recently. We’re aware of their strengths, and I think Wahab back into their team is very good for them.
“(Mohammad) Amir is bowling very well as well. Their bowling attack on the whole is very good. We can’t take them lightly, and we’ll have to prepare accordingly. I guess we’ve seen early in this tournament they’ve taken down big sides.
“They took down England and took down South Africa the other day. When they’re hot, they’re really hot. We have to, obviously, find ways of trying to cool them down when they’re like that. We’re playing pretty good cricket as well, so I think we’re in for a pretty good match tomorrow.”
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, who is averaging 186.50 in the World Cup, has been in red-hot form but Santner made it clear that his team was winning because of collective effort. “We’ve had a couple of tight games, which I guess the key so far is other people have been stepping up, and I guess that’s what you want to do as a team,” Santner said.
“You want everyone to step up at different times throughout the tournament, and I think that’s what we’ve found so far.
“We haven’t relied on a few guys to do the bulk of the work, but in saying that, being on the winning side of those tight encounters give the whole squad confidence.