Despite having lost by 52 runs against New Zealand in their third Super 12 match of the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup on Friday, Namibian all-rounder David Wiese remains confident they will finish their campaign on a high note when they face India today.
Speaking to the Hindustan Times ahead of the crucial encounter against favourites India, he said Friday’s defeat is now water under the bridge as all their attention is now focused on today’s match, where they are hoping to give the opponents a good run for their money.
“Playing against India is always fantastic. The support they have is amazing. Their players are the best in the world. And those are the kinds of players you want to be playing against. A couple of guys can step up and impress the right people, and it could work for them somewhere else. Life is all about opportunities. We are the underdogs, but you never know,” said a confident Wiese.
Despite struggling in the Super 12s, Namibia has played competitive cricket throughout the campaign, recording impressive wins over Ireland and The Netherlands in the first round, and a clinical four-wicket win over Scotland in the second round (Super 12).
But their strong start took a sudden nosedive when they suffered a string of defeats against world cricket powerhouses Afghanistan by 62 runs, Pakistan by 45 runs, and New Zealand.
However, Wiese remains adamant that they can still ring a few surprises and end the tournament on a high.
“We knew what we would be up against. But it’s also exciting. Our first result (a defeat) in Round 1 itself against Sri Lanka was a bit of a baptism of fire. But we have established ourselves as the best Associate team by beating Scotland, which is a great achievement for Namibian cricket,” he beamed.
Meanwhile, India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun is of the opinion that the toss has played a big a role at the 2021 T20 World Cup.
“I’m not trying to give any excuses, but the trend this World Cup has been the team that wins the toss has a big advantage, especially when you’re playing in the Dubai Stadium,” he told cricinfo, explaining “the wicket kind of eases out when you come out to bowl the second time”.
India took no wickets in their first match against Pakistan, and managed only two in their second match against New Zealand. Those heavy defeats early on have meant that India are playing catch-up, and could well be knocked out before their last game against Namibia today, which is also the last game of the Super 12 phase.