James Neesham plays down hype around NZ vs AFG match
New Zealand will take on Afghanistan in a crucial game of the 20-20 World Cup on November 6, Sunday. The match is very important as it will decide the second qualifier for the semifinals from the Group. The equation for New Zealand is pretty simple. They win, they go through. However, if Afghanistan manages to beat New Zealand, the doors will open for India to quality, who have a better net run rate than Afghanistan and New Zealand. There is a lot of buzz around the match, mainly because of the fate of India relying on it.
New Zealand all-rounder Jimmy Neesham, however, has played down the hype around the match. Speaking after delivering a Man of the Match performance against Namibia, Neesham said they are not taking any additional pressure for the game and are seeing it like any other match of the tournament, “Honestly, there has been a lot of talk about that from the outside but for us, even before the very first tournament, we knew that we had to knock over one of India and Pakistan and win the rest of the games and get through. It was a very simple equation,” Neesham said.
“We are focussing on each game as it comes. Zero disrespect to Namibia and Scotland in T20 rankings point of view. We knew all teams had enough quality to knock anyone out on their way.
“For us, it’s just about going and taking care of our game. I am sure, if at the start of the tournament, we were offered a virtual quarter-final against Afghanistan in the last game, we would have taken that. So we will prepare for the next game just as we have been preparing for every other game,” Neesham added.
Neesham had a wonderful outing with the bat and ball against Namibia. At one point, New Zealand were looking in trouble with the top order not contributing much. However, Neesham along with Glenn Phillips bailed New Zealand out to help them post a competitive 163.