New Zealand not worried about Brendon’s absence: Nathan McCullum

Mumbai, March 8 (IANS) New Zealand all-rounder Nathan McCullum on Tuesday said they have a balanced side for the World Twenty20 cricket tournament and do not need to worry about the absence of his brother, the recently retired batting star Brendon McCullum.

The 27-day tournament got underway in Nagpur on March 8 and will be played at eight venues across India with Eden Gardens in Kolkata scheduled to host the final on April 3.

India, Pakistan, New Zealand and Australia are clubbed in Group 2 while South Africa, England, the West Indies and Sri Lanka are in Group 1.

“We all know about the contribution of Brendon for the game. But we do not need to worry about his absence. We have a balanced team and hopefully we will play to our potential and try to win as many matches as possible,” Nathan said at a press conference here.

“We have an exciting team which is young and experienced as well. We are looking forward to the tournament,” he said.

New Zealand come into the tournament with some hard hitters in Grant Elliott, Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Williamson and all-rounders Corey Anderson, Mitchell McClenaghan and McCullum forming a strong batting line-up.

Speaking about Guptill who has been in sublime form recently, the 35-year-old said, “Guptill has matured a lot as a player. He understands the game very well. If he keeps on performing the way he did in the past few months, we will go a long way in the competition.”

Another promising batsman Munro who struck a 14-ball 50 in a T20 International against Sri Lanka said targeting specific bowlers will be the key to his success in the tournament.

“We all know that conditions are different here in India. It is important to judge the nature of wickets and then take on the bowlers. My aim will be to target specific bowlers and that will be the key here,” Munro said.

“We have good players considered to the last edition in 2014. I hope we can deliver well like we did in the past few T20 matches and help the team go all the way in the competition,” Munro added.

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