After Devon Conway suffered a freak injury, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson said the team has “exciting talents” as they seek their first Twenty20 World Cup title.
Tim Seifert is set to take over as wicketkeeper in the final against Australia in Dubai on Sunday.
Conway, who broke his hand after punching his bat in an angry outburst after being dismissed in the semi-final win over England, was a second blow for the Kiwis after they lost Lockie Ferguson ahead of their first match of the tournament.
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Conway had completed 129 runs at the event, averaging just over 32 seconds per run.
Importantly, his ability behind the stumps allowed the Kiwis to bring in an extra bowler following their group loss to Pakistan.
“There’s a good mix of youth and experience here, and some of these younger players who keep coming up are really exciting talents,” Williamson told reporters.
“Obviously, Devon’s departure is significant. He’s been a big part of all of our formats. It’s a disappointing and bizarre occurrence.
“But for us, it’s about staying focused on the task at hand, and all of the players are really excited about the opportunity to go out tomorrow and try to improve and adjust to what will be new, which is a different opponent and a different venue.”
New Zealand has been the team to beat in recent years, finishing second in the 2019 50-over World Cup and winning the inaugural Test championship in June of this year. Both New Zealand and Australia have never won a T20 World Cup, and the Kiwis will be playing in the tournament’s first-ever final.
“It would be quite an accomplishment,” Williamson said of winning two world titles in a single year.
“But, you know, right now, there’s a game of cricket to play, and for us, it’s focusing on that, focusing on our cricket, and looking to go out there and implement those things that are important to us.”
The trans-Tasman rivals have a rich history of exciting contests, and their title clash brings back memories of Australia’s 2015 ODI World Cup final victory over New Zealand in Melbourne.
“I suppose the fact that we are sort of neighbors creates a little bit of that, in a number of different sports as well,” Williamson said of the rivalry.
“So when we play each other, it’s always a great competition, a great occasion.” So I believe both teams are very excited about the prospect of playing tomorrow.”
New Zealand has relied on Tim Southee and Trent Boult’s new-ball attack to unsettle opponents in the tournament.
However, Williamson was questioned about his team’s preparations for Australia’s leg-spinner Adam Zampa, who has 12 wickets.
“For us, we want to focus on the cricket we want to play and make sure that’s the most important thing,” he said.
“And you know, go out there and enjoy the occasion in our style.”
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