Trent Boult is out for revenge after New Zealand booked their spot in the World Cup final, hoping Australia can join them at Lord’s this Sunday.
New Zealand won a legion of admirers as they reached the showcase for the first time in 2015, only for fellow co-hosts Australia to burst their bubble as they prevailed by a wide seven-wicket margin in Melbourne.
The Black Caps will have the opportunity to go all the way again after beating India by 18 runs at Old Trafford on the reserve day of their semi-final.
Boult knows who he would prefer to win the other last four showdown between Australia and England at Edgbaston on Thursday.
The left-arm seamer said: “I think Australia pumped us in 2015 in the final so it would be nice to (play them) again. But two quality sides are going to play, we’ll be watching with interest.
“We’re just more excited about being on the stage; Lord’s, Cricket World Cup final, it doesn’t get bigger than that in my opinion. Whoever it is we’re definitely looking forward to it.”
Virat Kohli reflected on three quarters of an hour of mayhem that ultimately led to India’s dramatic exit at the semi-final stage for a second time in four years.
Chasing 240, India lurched to 24-4 after 10 overs, losing three wickets in the space of 11 balls at one stage, including the prize scalps of Rohit Sharma and Kohli in a spellbinding passage of play at Old Trafford.
Ravindra Jadeja’s swashbuckling 77 and a patient 50 from Mahendra Singh Dhoni took India close to overhauling New Zealand’s 239-8 but they were all out for 221 in 49.3 overs, Kohli pinpointing the top order wobble for their elimination.
The India captain said: “We played outstanding cricket throughout this tournament and to just go out on the basis of 45 minutes of bad cricket is saddening and it breaks your heart.”
Rohit and Kohli had amassed 1,000 runs between them to help India top the group standings but the pair contributed just one apiece on the reserve day of this last four encounter at Old Trafford.
Kohli added: “It’s very disappointing, not turning up when the team wanted me. Obviously, it feels bad. Everyone gets disappointed when they get out.
“You have worked so hard throughout the tournament to build momentum. You finish number one in the table and then a spell of bad cricket and then you are out of the tournament completely.
“But you have to accept it. It’s happened to us before and we have all come out better cricketers because of these setbacks, especially at a stage like a World Cup.”
You have to accept it. It’s happened to us before and we have all come out better cricketers because of these setbacks, especially at a stage like a World Cup.
Kohli was receptive to a possible change in format for the knockout stages in future editions, incorporating play-offs, arguing that finishing atop the group table should count for more.
He said: “Who knows in future? Maybe. If topping the table means anything.
“I think these things can come into consideration, looking at the magnitude of this tournament. That is a really valid point. You never know when that is going to be implemented.”
Kiwi captain Kane Williamson hopes India’s cricket-obsessed fans will cheer them on in the Lord’s showpiece this Sunday.
He said: “I hope they’re not too angry. Obviously, the passion for the game in India is unrivalled and we are all fortunate to play this sport and have a country like India be right behind it.
“Hopefully we can adopt 1.5 billion supporters and they’ll be supporting us.”
Williamson was also moved to support veteran wicketkeeper-batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who attracted criticism in some quarters for not attacking sooner, only doing so when Ravindra Jadeja departed before being run out.
Williamson added: “We’ve seen Dhoni finish games from those similar positions on a number of occasions. It was a tough surface so nothing promised but naturally to dismiss Dhoni in whatever fashion is extremely important.
“Experience at this level and in these occasions is so important and his contribution throughout this campaign was extremely important.
“That partnership that he was involved in with Jadeja who came in and hit the ball better than anybody in both teams was very, very valuable. He’s (Dhoni) a world-class cricketer.”