New Zealand is one step away from claiming their first ever T20 World Cup trophy, five months after winning the inaugural World Test Championship in Southampton. Captain Kane Williamson is ecstatic about the idea, but he’s quick to point out that New Zealand isn’t getting ahead of itself.
At the pre-final press conference, Williamson observed, “It’d be some achievement [doing the double]. However, there is a game of cricket to be played, and for us, it’s about focusing on that and our cricket, and looking to go out there and implement the things that are important to us.”
Devon Conway, the wicketkeeper-batsman who suffered a self-inflicted hand injury in the semi-final against England, will miss the match. Tim Seifert, who has only played one game in the main event, will return to the XI to replace Conway, according to Williamson.
Two days before the final, Seifert practised with Conway and brought with him the experience of playing for the Trinbago Knight Riders in a CPL final (2020) and the Kolkata Knight Riders in an IPL final (2021).
Conway’s presence in New Zealand’s middle order may have prevented Australia’s legspinner from facing a series of right-handed bowlers. Zampa has been in superb form in this T20 World Cup, taking 12 wickets at an economy rate of just 5.69 since the Super 12s.
In a warm-up match between Australia and New Zealand at the Tolerance Oval, Zampa took 2 for 17 in his four overs. Williamson was apprehensive of Zampa’s threat, but said it wouldn’t deter them from carrying out their own plans.