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ICC World Cup Final | Anybody Can Beat Anybody Regardless of Breed of Dog: Williamson

Karthik Lakshmanan |July 13, 2019, 9:11 PM IST
ICC World Cup Final | Anybody Can Beat Anybody Regardless of Breed of Dog: Williamson

London: "Whatever dog we are, it's just important that we focus on the cricket that we want to play. We have seen over the years that anybody can beat anybody regardless of breed of dog."

This gem, from Kane Williamson, sums up everything about New Zealand's approach to their game against England on Sunday at Lord's. World Cup final. Possibility of becoming champions for the first time ever. At home of cricket.

Big day, blah blah blah... but as unbelievable as it might sound, it was just a game of cricket for Williamson and his men. Clearly, he doesn't think too much about tags like favourites and underdogs, and focuses only on the game irrespective of the occasion.

A day before the final, Williamson was as relaxed as ever leaving the packed media room in splits with typical wit.

England being favourites takes pressure off you?

"We are quite keen on winning as well."

You seem to be a lot more relaxed today than before the India game. Are you?

"When did we hang out before the India game?"

How would it feel tomorrow being the party-poopers at Lord's?

"Party-poopers? You talking about dogs again, hey? Underdogs?"

Williamson spent most of his time in the interaction underplaying the occasion, saying it was important to stay away from external distractions.

"Any game that you play in you deal with different distractions and, naturally, in a World Cup Final it brings other distractions. There's a lot more people here today and perhaps that may be one," he said.

"There are a whole bunch of other things where all different thoughts can go through your mind of potential realities, but certainly where Gary (Stead, the coach) and myself and all the group come from it's keeping your feet on the ground, looking to play the sort of cricket you want to play to give yourself the best chance regardless of whether it's a semifinal, a round-robin game or, fortunately enough now, to be in a final.

"At the end of the day, it is still a cricket match, where both teams are looking to go out and implement their plans as best they can to give themselves the best chance."

Williamson has already experienced a World Cup final, in the last one four years back. New Zealand were thrashed in that match, but Williamson said that experience wouldn't matter much as things were vastly differemt.

His level-headedness with whatever he does was on display again. Williamson said he wasn't a person who got too emotionally attached to results, and explained that it was a mindset he has learnt to get into over the years.

"I try not to get too caught up in the results and hopefully not too emotional about just the outcome," he said. "Maybe look at it with a bit more reason and where we perhaps could have improved and where some things that were out of our control had an impact on the game and then try and move on from that as quickly as possible.

"So there's always more to the picture than just the end point and that is sort of the focus for us as a team. I prefer winning that losing, that's the best way to put it. But any experience that you have is an opportunity to learn and sometimes tough experiences, being on the wrong side of results, can sometimes slap you in the face and give you a glaring lesson and if you ignore that, I don't think that is a positive thing.

"So treating both of those outcomes with respect and trying to learn from them to be better as a group and as an individual I think is the best part."

Probed further and further about the magnitude of the occasion, Williamson finally gave himself a bit of a leeway saying the final was 'a bit more special' than another day. A New Zealand win, he said, would have a positive impact on the sport in the country.

"I'd like to think it would have a really positive impact on the sport in our country," he said.

"Having played in the previous one and being in the final there, it still had a massive impact in terms of perhaps inspiring kids to get involved in the game which, at the end of the day, when you move past a number of different parts of the professional game, that is kind of why you do it. Hopefully there's a lot of kids out there that have been enjoying the cricket we have been playing and appreciate the hard work that's gone into being here now. So, it would be a really special thing no doubt.

"It's obviously a really special occasion tomorrow and to be involved in a World Cup and representing your country, let alone to turn up here at the home of cricket and be involved in a final, is pretty special."

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Cricket World Cup Points Table

9 7 1 1 15 +0.80
9 7 2 0 14 +0.86
9 6 3 0 12 +1.15
9 5 3 1 11 +0.17
9 5 3 1 11 -0.43
9 3 4 2 8 -0.91
9 3 5 1 7 -0.03
9 3 5 1 7 -0.41
9 2 6 1 5 -0.22
9 0 9 0 0 -1.32

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6420 123
2 India 6807 122
3 New Zealand 4763 113
4 Australia 5470 112
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
see more