Ferguson and New Zealand eye 2019 semi-final repeat against India


Ferguson was part of a New Zealand side that denied India in an extraordinary semi-final in Manchester four years ago – a game that spanned two days thanks to significant rain delays.

And while the Kiwi quick says that the match was a superb memory for him and his teammates, he was quick to point out to questioning journalists that the two teams have changed a lot in the intervening World Cup cycle.

“Four years ago was a pretty spectacular game,” Ferguson said.

New Zealand v India | CWC 2019 Semi-Final | Match Highlights

A rain-affected semi-final between New Zealand and India played over two days.

“I've never played a one-day game over two days, it’s literally not even in the title. So, I think playing that game was pretty incredible and obviously very pleasing for us at the time.

“But four years have gone past, we've played a lot of cricket in between, and both teams I'm sure are raring to go come Wednesday.”

Four years may have passed, but this crop of New Zealand players are continuing the nation’s extraordinary record in men’s white-ball competitions.

Progress to the semi-finals in India means that the Kiwis have now reached the final four in five consecutive ICC Men’s Cricket World Cups, having been losing finalists in 2019 and 2015 and semi-finalists in 2011 and 2007.

Three consecutive semi-final appearances in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cups (in 2016, 2021 and 2022) have also come in recent years. And Ferguson says part of the secret to that consistent level of performance has to be partly down to the team’s level mindset.

“Certainly, from our point of view, when we start the competition, much like every other team we're here to win it, but of course we know there's a process,” he said.

Lockie accounts for dangerous Rohit | CWC23

Rohit Sharma's belligerent knock was brought to an end in the 12th over when he was cleaned up by Lockie Ferguson.

“We sort of stick to our processes and, I know it sounds cliche, but I think it keeps us sort of level-headed and naturally as Kiwis we tend to stay where our feet are, which I think is a positive.

“But yeah, we look forward to big tournaments. Obviously this one being in India is pretty spectacular with the fans, the support. We've been loving seeing all the New Zealand jerseys around too, so that's certainly helping us.”

India cap off group stage with ninth win | Digital Daily: Episode 45 | CWC23

Digital Daily looks back on India’s dominant win over The Netherlands with Sanjay Manjrekar and ICC Digital Insider Tanvi Shah

Ferguson played a role with the ball as New Zealand successfully defended 239/8 at Old Trafford in 2019, returning tidy figures of 1/43 from his ten overs as India struggled to get momentum after early wickets in their chase.

New Zealand could have played the same three-pronged seam attack in this semi-final were it not for Matt Henry’s unfortunate injury earlier in the tournament.

And Ferguson was only too happy to answer when a reporter asked why the team were “not looking so good” without Henry in the XI.

“I think we look good here; Matt Henry is obviously a big hole in our side and we're still a handsome bunch without Matt,” Ferguson joked.

“I guess I'll take that on the chin… but now from a cricket point of view – Tim Southee brings a lot of experience obviously being captain of the test team, captain in T20s and one days too, so I think that experience counts for a lot. He's also played a lot in India, which is great too.

“Obviously we’re pretty disheartened with how Matt exited the World Cup, which was such a shame.

“We know injuries always come at the worst time, but no doubt he'll be supporting from back home and Tim Southee is raring to go.”

New Zealand’s serene start to the 2023 tournament was knocked off kilter initially by India in Dharamsala, although the Black Caps can take solace from the fact that they went closer to troubling India than many other sides in the group stage, sliding to just a four-wicket loss against the unbeaten hosts.

India remain only unbeaten side | Digital Daily: Episode 21 | CWC23

And Ferguson says that how New Zealand manage the “ebbs and flows” of ODI cricket will again be crucial to their chances of troubling Rohit Sharma’s side in Mumbai.

“Yeah, look, it was a hard-fought game. Of course, with one-day cricket and playing against India, there's a lot of ebbs and flows.

“I think it's not going to be any different come this game. We've just got to tighten up as much as we can. I guess can't really provide much more information than that.

“I guess just as I was saying earlier, we’ll adjust to the wicket, see what we think will be a good score, and do our best to defend it. And if we bat first, try to put runs on the board, which we think will be a good score.”

New ZealandLockie Ferguson 06/13/1991ICC Cricket World Cup, 2023Cricket World CupMen's News