Image courtesy of: Zimbio
New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson has announced that he is unfazed by the challenge of facing Australia on Saturday in Auckland.
New Zealand have beaten Sri Lanka, Scotland and England coming into the match, while Australia crushed England and shared one point with Bangladesh after their match at the Gabba in Brisbane was abandoned due to Tropical Cyclone Marcia.
“They’re not going to be foreign, they’re our neighbours from across the ditch,” he said. “They don’t have guys who come out the back of hand, anything like that. We just have to go about our work and stick by our blueprint.”
Anderson also dismissed Australia opener Aaron Finch’s comments about New Zealand being under more pressure since the match is being held in their backyard.
“That might be mind games,” he said. “It’s the World Cup, every game is a pressure situation. It’s exciting for us and we look at is as a positive to come out in front of packed crowd at Eden Park who hopefully will get stuck into the Aussies. I’m sure the next few days it will sink in about how big it’s going to be at Eden Park.
“Their sledging tactics are well known now and something we haven’t involved ourselves in. We’re fairly neutral on the field, stick to what we do. We’ll be expecting a bit of heat from them and I guess that’s part of their game plan and we’ll just deal with it as it comes.”
However, one of Anderson’s major worries is how to contain the Australian batsmen given how short the boundaries are at Eden Park.
“It’s a bit daunting when you walk back to your run-up and can almost touch the boundary,” he said. “It’s not the nicest feeling as bowler. As a batter it’s nice. It’s a different ground and we’re lucky we’ve played there a reasonable amount of times and it’s been a reasonable hunting ground. We’ll have the same plans from the last few times we’ve played there.
“I think it’s a ground where you need to change it up a lot. If you miss slightly you can get taken to. Top edges don’t go for four, they go for six. It’s one of those things, just get on with it.”
Despite the mind games and short boundaries, Anderson is relishing the opportunity to face Australia in, what promises to be, a highly entertaining match.
“It’s a World Cup game and definitely the biggest in my career, and certainly for the other players as well,” he said. “It’s the pinnacle to play Australia in our own backyard, and in the World Cup, so I know we’re all excited.”