World Cup: New Zealand would like to meet India at MCG in the final

  • Richard Hadlee
  • Updated: Mar 25, 2015 02:10 IST

Firstly, let me admit I would have loved to play under a captain as inspirational as Brendon McCullum. He, with the help of a very efficient management team, has scripted perhaps the most magical moment in New Zealand cricket. The players adore him. They follow him. He bats magnificently and employs an attacking field I had not seen before - four slips and a gully. But that is Brendon McCullum for you! An aggressive winner!

It was indeed a magic moment for us which brought tears of joy in the New Zealand dressing room - and tears of despair in our worthy opponents'. I thought New Zealand deserved to win. They were more efficient, more hungry, more ruthless. Someone asked me if I thought Grant Elliott was the right choice for Man of the Match? Whether it could have been given to McCullum for providing that flying start?

My answer is: No. Elliot is the right choice as he showed great character in adversity. The way he found the gaps carefully and finally hit the big shot was sensational. End of the day his six was the difference between the teams.

I feel sorry for South Africa. After this loss the chokers tag will continue to haunt them, though I can say this with utmost conviction that they didn't choke. They fought with courage and passion. But for a couple of missed chances on the field, they were awesome.

Final hurdle

We are now just one game away from winning the title. Across the Tasman Sea things will no longer be the same. If we play Australia in the final at the MCG, there will be a very hostile crowd waiting to unsettle us. This cauldron of 90,000 people will be a real threat as our players are not experienced enough to play before such a crowd. Keeping the hostile crowd element in perspective we would love to play India in the final. Not Australia.

That is what my heart dictates. The mind says something else. That Australia in the Sydney semifinal are the clear favourites. Yes, India have got better and better in the tournament, also they have the game to match their illustrious opponents step by step. But to get past Michael Clarke's team they will have to handle the new ball particularly well. And that means handling Mitchell Starc.

If they manage to do that and post a total of 300 plus, an Indian win can't be completely ruled out.

(The writer is a former New Zealand cricketer)

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