After heartbreaks in three previous finals and humiliation on some other occasions England are finally ready to lift their first World Cup title but one team must not be pleased to see them preparing for party on home soil.
New Zealand may not be the favourites of bookmakers to beat England in the World Cup final today but Kane Williamson’s men were quietly plotting to be the party-poopers at Lord’s.
They had the chance to do it in Melbourne in 2015 when they also faced the home side in the final and got carried away by the enormity of the occasion in their first ever World Cup final.
The Kiwis have learnt their lesson and promised to go into today’s final as a different unit, one that can check their emotion and fight against any opposition keeping eye to eye.
Williamson gave a demonstration of how emotionless they can be in the final by dismissing the underdog tag in the pre-match press conference at Lord’s on Saturday.
‘A lot of people say that on a number of occasions which is great and I think England rightly so deserve to be favourites,’ said Williamson.
‘Coming into this tournament from the start, they were favourites and they’ve been playing really good cricket.
‘But whatever dog we are, it’s just important that we focus on the cricket that we want to play and we have seen over the years that anybody can beat anybody regardless of breed of dog,’ added the New Zealand skipper.
New Zealand failed to upset Australia and Williamson could play a very small part in that final in Melbourne but the right-hander, who now has 548 runs for his side in this World Cup, was confident of doing it differently against England.
‘There’s a whole heap of different things, I suppose. We were in a different part of the world on a different surface against a different opposition and both sides are very different from four years ago, so it’s kind of hard to compare those times,’ he said.
‘Whether having had experience in a final or not is a good thing. Any final you get the opportunity
to play in is a really positive thing.
‘But at the same time as we know in this game nothing promises, so it does come down to putting a performance on the board that gives us the best opportunity to win and both sides will be very much looking to do that and trying to treat the game as any other game.
‘But it’s a really exciting, special occasion and I think both teams will be savouring the opportunity to be where we are at the moment,’ he added.
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