New Zealand can become the first team into the T20 World Cup semi-finals this week but first will need to contain England’s powerful batting line-up, said pace bowler Lockie Ferguson on Monday.
Ferguson told reporters that New Zealand would need him and fellow quicks Trent Boult and Tim Southee to be at their best to overcome England at the Gabba on Tuesday night.
“What you always expect from England is that they come out very hot," said Ferguson. “They pride themselves probably on that aggressive nature and bat very deep."
New Zealand sit top of Group 1 of the Super 12 stage after two wins and one washout and need one more victory from their last two games against England on Tuesday or Ireland on Friday to clinch a place in the final four.
Boult has been superb in the tournament so far, taking six wickets including a career-best 4-13 against Sri Lanka on Saturday.
Southee took 3-6 as New Zealand started with bang, routing Australia in the tournament opener.
“Tim and Trent have had a blinder in these first two games," said Ferguson.
“When the ball’s swinging, there’s not much better in the world. So I think from that point of view, nothing needs to change too much, and we just need to adjust to the conditions on the day.
“England are going to have a lot of firepower and we need to combat that."
The clash against England at the Gabba is a replay of the 2021 T20 World Cup semi-final which New Zealand won by five wickets in Abu Dhabi.
It is also a repeat of the 2019 50-over World Cup final, which England edged by the finest of margins, a boundary countback, after a super over couldn’t separate the sides.
Ferguson said New Zealand knew that a win would seal a semi-final place, but they were not looking that far ahead yet.
“Clearly, there’s a long way to go for us. We need to make sure we take it game by game," he said.
“It’s very much one game at a time. Tomorrow is a big focus for us, after that we’ll cross the next bridge when it comes."