I am confident we can win against Australia: New Zealand Captain Brendon McCullum
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum affirmed his side’s confidence ahead of their much-anticipated clash against neighbours Australia. He said that if they are able to execute their plan, they will be hard to beat.
“Our focus is very much on how we try and execute the game that has served us so well over the last little while. If we do that, we will be hard to beat,” he said.
“It doesn't mean we are going to win, but we are going to be hard to beat if we perform to the standards we know how.”
“It doesn’t get any better than hosting Australia in a World Cup”
He termed hosting Australia in a World Cup match in front of 40,000 people a ‘dream’.
“The guys are in really good space, we've been playing some good cricket of late, living the dream really and getting the opportunity to play for your country in a World Cup at home.
“Tomorrow is going to be a great event, 40,000 people and playing against Australia. It doesn't really get better than that, so the guys are excited.”
The Kiwi also talked about the short boundaries at the grounds in New Zealand and admitted that his bowlers will have to be smart with their line and length against the Aussies.
“That is one of the things on this ground. The lengths that you bowl, you need to be pretty smart with. The square boundaries are not overly long either though.
“We have seen in the past that if you focus too much on bowling back of length, there are players capable of playing the horizontal bat shots to good effect.
“You have to be smart about when to use the short ball and when to give it a chance to swing.”
“We are capable of winning against Australia”
The 33-year-old reiterated the confidence he has in his side’s ability to win the crucial World Cup match.
“We’ve got to make sure that when if we are able to get ourselves in a position of strength in the game, then we can press home that advantage,” he added.
“It makes for an interesting contest tomorrow, we will see how it unfolds but I am confident that we've got a team that is capable of winning. I am sure Michael is confident that he’s got a team capable of winning, so it should be a great contest.”
He drew similarities between the playing style of the Australian team and his side, but admitted that both the teams will probably go about the match differently.
McCullum said, “If you look at the Australian team and our team we probably play a similar brand of cricket, probably both teams go about it slightly differently. We have seen that we can have success playing that way.
“Australia have had a lot of success over a long period of time playing that aggressive and confident style of cricket and that's what we are trying to play, be as positive as we can in every situation and endear ourselves to the public with the way we play.”
“Clarke is a strong leader”
He also took time to praise his opposite number, Michael Clarke, calling him a strong leader. He said that the Aussies are a stronger outfit with him in the side than out.
“Michael Clarke is the leader of the Australian team. We saw during the tragic circumstances of Phil Hughes' passing how strong a leader he is in the way he carried himself and spoke on behalf of the team.
“We were certainly in awe of how he was able to carry himself. They are strengthened by his inclusion back in the side,” he concluded.