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IND Vs NZ, Semi-Final, ICC Cricket World Cup 2023: Captains Rohit Sharma, Kane Williamson Deliver Verdicts As India Beat New Zealand To Enter Final

India beat New Zealand to enter the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. Though the Men in Blue won by 70 runs in the end, New Zealand battled the hosts until almost the very end, before quickly collapsing toward the final stages of their innings. Captains Rohit Sharma and Kane Williamson gave their verdicts post-match.

Indian skipper Rohit Sharma with Kiwi captain Kane Williamson (left) at the toss
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Despite the glossiness of their victory over New Zealand, Indian captain Rohit Sharma was candid enough to admit that the team felt a few strands of pressure going into the World Cup semifinal here on Wednesday. (As It Happened | Scorecard | Full Coverage)

India defeated New Zealand by 70 runs in the first semifinal to book a berth in the final to be played at Ahmedabad on Sunday.

"Obviously this being the semifinal, I won't say there was no pressure and the semifinal adds a bit extra (pressure).

"But we don’t want to think too much about it, and just do what we've been doing like in the first nine games," said Rohit during the post-match presentation.

"We knew there would be pressure on us. We were very calm, even though we were a bit sloppy on the field. These things are bound to happen but glad we could get the job done."

Rohit lauded his batters for helping the team post an imposing 397 for 4, that the Mumbaikar felt forced the Kiwis to take some risks during the chase.

"I've played a lot of cricket here (Wankhede Stadium), and you can’t relax with any score on this ground. Yeah, they wouldn't have taken those risks (had India not posted 397).

"(Kane) Williamson and (Daryl) Mitchell batted brilliantly. It was important for us to stay calm. We knew that we needed a catch or run out and Shami was brilliant."

Rohit then delved deeper into the batters' effort.

"The form of the top five-six batters, whenever they've received an opportunity, they've made it count. I am very pleased to see what (Shreyas) Iyer has done for us. (Shubman) Gill, the way he batted for us has been brilliant.

"It was unfortunate that he had to go off with cramps. (Virat) Kohli did what he does, and also got his landmark century," added Rohit.

We didn’t get a sniff: Williamson

New Zealand captain Kane Willamson was understandably crestfallen but gave credit to India for playing outstanding cricket throughout this showpiece.

"Congrats to India, they played outstandingly well, probably their best game today. Chasing 400 was naturally going to be a tough but proud effort to stay in the fight," he said.

"Disappointing to go out but super proud of the effort that's gone in for the last seven weeks. But India are top class, have world-class batters who didn't give us a sniff really. They deserve to be where they are, played outstandingly well."

Williamson was all praise for Rachin Ravindra, New Zealand’s highest run-getter in the tournament, and Daryl Mitchell, who made two centuries against India, including on this day, in the event.

"Rachin and Mitchell were special throughout the campaign, on varied surfaces. They played really, really well. Bowlers chipped in, a lot of fight.

"Even if it didn't go our way, ultimately moving forward as a team, we've taken some really good steps in the right direction," he signed off.

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