PHOTOSPORT

Ferguson praises team culture

In New Zealand there is something almost magical when players talk about the power of the rugby team's black jersey.

The Black Caps might have a little way before they can match the feats of the All Blacks, but fast bowler Lockie Ferguson believes there is something about the culture within the team that is driving them forwards at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.

Kane Williamson’s magnificent hundred against South Africa carried the Kiwis to a fourth win in as many completed games at Edgbaston, and New Zealand can move a step closer to the semi-finals with victory over the West Indies at Old Trafford on Saturday.

For Ferguson, the friendship within the squad has played a big role in the way the team has performed so far.

He said: “I think we talk a lot about our culture with the Black Caps. It's really noticeable when you go away from it and come back to the team.

“You probably saw that in training. It's normally very similar to that with all the games we play at warm-ups.

“We're a good bunch of friends. And that's the honest truth. And we get along really well. When we train like that and push each other, both at training, it means that we often can put it out on the park. But it's an exciting bunch to be part of.

“We're focusing on every game, putting a big onus on each game, every team, making sure we do our job and our roles each game and focus on that, because every game counts for so much.

“But as I said, it's that sort of culture that's been helping us along the way.”

Ferguson has been one of the fastest bowlers at the World Cup so far, providing a wicket-taking option for New Zealand in the middle overs.

The Kiwi bowling attack has been exceptional to date, keeping the opposition below 250 in every game – the only team at the World Cup to have done so.

However in the final warm-up game before the tournament, the West Indies hammered 421 against them at Bristol, with Ferguson going for 86 off his ten overs.

The fast bowler has not forgotten that game, and admits the team will have to be ready from a barrage from the West Indian top order.

He added: “I think it still plays for sure. They batted very well in that warm-up game in Bristol and put us under a lot of pressure in a warm-up game, too.

“We'll be taking some of the learnings we took from that game, start again, obviously the score is at zero.

“There's no secret that the West Indies have a powerful line-up all the way through. And as a bowling unit we need to learn, if they get on a roll, we need to learn to shut down areas and build up pressure again and hopefully take wickets. But, yeah, it's no secret in this comp that the West Indies have a very powerful line-up.”

 

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