Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Taylor is feeling the heat

Mumbai, March 16, 2011

New Zealand will lock horns with Sri Lanka in a key group 'A\' league match at the Wankhede Stadium here on Friday. It will be the first day-night match at the re-developed stadium.

Both the teams have advanced to the quarter-finals, but following a sequence of wins they are looking forward to continue with the momentum. Having played a match at the venue against Canada, New Zealand captain Ross Taylor said his team has some advantage, but added that Sri Lanka is a very professional team and hence it would turn out to be a highly intense and competitive.

Taylor said there won\'t be many surprises in both sides. "We know each other very well. It\'s an important match leading into the quarter-final. If you win you get a lot more confidence and take some momentum into the quarter-final. If you lose it hurts a little bit."

Almost a month

The World Cup that began on Feb. 19 with a match between India and Bangladesh is nearing one month of competition and Taylor, weather-wise, is feeling the heat. "I\'m probably sweating a lot more. It\'s getting hotter and the wickets probably are dry. I don\'t think there is much change in the preparation of the wicket," said Taylor after his team recommenced training at the Wankhede after a two-day break.

New Zealand will be without left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori and seamer Kyle Mills. The New Zealand selectors have decided to send fast-medium bowler Darryl Tuffey as cover for Mills. "We are looking at having Mills and Vettori fit for the quarter-finals. Their injury rehab has come along fine but they probably are not ready for this match. It\'s disappointing not to have them, but their absence gives opportunities for someone else to step up and perform their role."

Taylor said Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum have been outstanding and have laid a good platform. "Jesse Ryder has been in good form back home. He\'s not had the same opportunities here, but he\'s been striking the ball well. The top four are key for us. The lower order has the power hitting capability for the power-play overs."

Touching upon the dew factor Taylor said: "Kandy was very dewy when we bowled but when Sri Lanka played Zimbabwe there was no dew whatsoever. It\'s a bit of pot luck when you bank on the dew coming down. I think you have to go with the instincts."

With regard to the batting power-play overs Taylor felt it\'s not all about scoring a lot of runs. "Quite often it\'s getting your best bowlers back and using them up. I don\'t think any team has mastered it but at the same time I don\'t think any team has been particularly poor at it either."

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