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09 December 201015:56

We can win the World Cup: Kyle Mills

India, Sri Lanka and Australia are the other teams that would make it to the semi finals, Mills reckons

We can win the World Cup: Kyle Mills - Cricket News

New Zealand cricketer Kyle Mills.

New Zealand seamer Kyle Mills says his team's current slump in ODIs means they can only improve from here. He reckons they have the side to win the World Cup and that India, Sri Lanka and Australia are the other teams that he thinks will make the semi-finals. Mills spoke to Yahoo! Cricket about his memories of the 1992 World Cup, his last-minute exclusion from the 2007 World Cup, and what he hopes to do in 2011.

New Zealand have had a form slump. What can we expect from them at the World Cup?

Once we get to India and get into the hype of the tournament, no stones will be left unturned and I can guarantee that every member of this squad and the management group will be doing every thing they possibly can for the duration of the whole tournament. Everyone's going to give a hundred per cent, training hard for it. So there would be nothing left in the tank at the end of the World Cup.

You had missed the 2007 World Cup due to injury. What are your thoughts heading into the 2011 World Cup?

It's been one of my major goals for the past four years, having missed out on the World Cup in the West Indies. I felt like I was in very good form at that time and to have a knee surgery just before the tournament was a massive disappointment. Not a day goes by without me thinking about it, you know, partaking and winning this coming World Cup in 2011. So it has been at the forefront of my mind for a very long time.

New Zealand did well at all three World Cups in the 1990s, particularly 1992. What are your memories of these events?

The 1992 World Cup sticks out pretty clear because I was young and cricket was my passion. I went to every game at Eden Park. Our coach now Mark Greatbatch had a very successful tournament during the World Cup. It was a very well-run tournament as well. And with the New Zealand team playing at home winning every game, it was definitely a good place to be living in at the time.

Have these memories shaped your cricketing career in some way?

I think during that time I tried to bowl and bat like Greatbatch with our team in the backyard. It definitely shaped one-day cricket. The World Cup after that, most teams approached it like New Zealand did in 1992. That stands out for sure.

What are your concerns as a fast bowler heading into the flat, slow pitches of the sub-continent?

Being an opening bowler the easiest time to bat on these flat, low, slow wickets is when the ball is hard at the start of the innings. There's no way to hide out there so what I've got to focus on is individual plans for batsmen and being able to execute them. I just like to bowl a nice, tight line and don't give any width, don't bowl any loose balls because it's pretty tough as it is. So I have to hold on to my execution and hopefully it will swing a little bit and hopefully I'll get a little bit of success to the team in that way.

Which four teams do you think will make the World Cup semi-finals?

Even though we're going through a rough patch, I do believe we have the players to win a World Cup. It's just a matter of having a little bit of luck and I believe cricket is a big momentum sport. If we get that momentum during the World Cup, I think we will go a long way. So I'm gonna throw us in there. I think India will be pretty tough to beat at home. Sri Lanka who are a very well-balanced side and have some world class players will be tough to beat and they are playing in home conditions. And obviously Australia ... they're tough to beat anywhere you play them.

How important is the tour of India heading into the World Cup?

Look, it's really important for a number of reasons --- the form we're in at the moment and it's our last series on Indian soil heading into the World Cup. We've got a great opportunity to adjust to the conditions.

India have a pretty good line-up. How difficult are they to bowl against?

Extremely difficult, especially on these flat, low wickets that don't offer much assistance to fast bowlers. And they are a side that has a lot of depth in the top-order. So it doesn't matter who they put out there in the top six, you know it will be a quality player and they have confidence as well. So if you can get a few wickets early, you can nullify that confidence, and have a little bit of success because they do rely on confidence and their fans at home. They are extremely tough.

How do you bounce back from the recent run of defeats?

I guess it will be character building for us. You've got to start at the bottom to get to the top. It's been a massive learning curve for me and the team. It's a hole that's uncomfortable and unpleasant. I'm sure we'll learn a lot about ourselves as individuals and as a team and we're going to get ourselves out of this hole because no one likes being in this. It will take a couple of wins to get some confidence and cricket's a funny old game. It can be anyone's for the taking on the day.