"Not necessarily focused on what people are predicting" - Tom Latham happy with New Zealand's underdog tag for 2023 World Cup

India Cricket Wcup
Tom Latham is set to lead the Kiwis against England in the absence of Williamson. (P.C.:AP)

New Zealand's stand-in skipper Tom Latham believes the team isn't focused on whether the cricketing fraternity is giving them a chance to make it to the semifinal of the 2023 World Cup in India.

The Kiwis often seem to go under the radar as they have made a staggering eight semifinals in the tournament's history and have also come within touching distance of winning the trophy four years ago.

However, Tom Latham doesn't want the Blackcaps to think about expectations. Here's what he was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz:

"We're not necessarily focused on what people are predicting. From our point of view, we're solely focused on what we have to do. The brand of cricket that we want to play is our main focus, and when it comes towards the end of the tournament, if we're in those positions, then that's great."

Tom Latham on Kane Williamson's absence

Skipper Kane Williamson is not available for New Zealand's World Cup opener against England on October 5. While it is a massive blow to the Kiwis, Latham is delighted that the star batter will play a part in the World Cup despite the major knee injury that he had endured during IPL 2023.

On this, Latham stated:

"Any team that doesn't have Kane in it is obviously, you know, we'd certainly be better off having him, but I think from our point of view, for him to be here, to be at the World Cup, is a testament to the work he has put in over the last four to five months."

Latham has never played at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. He is excited to be a part of such a momentous occasion where the biggest stadium in the world will host the World Cup opener between England and New Zealand.

On this, he added:

"To play the opening game here at an amazing stadium is pretty special. So it's a unique experience being played here in India, and it's obviously a fantastic place to play cricket.
"I'm really excited to get underway tomorrow. To play against a fantastic England side in a World Cup opener is really special, so it can't get much better than that."

New Zealand and England played an extraordinary final four years ago, where the latter emerged victorious due to the boundary count rule. Them playing another thriller on Thursday could be the perfect way to start the 2023 World Cup.

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