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We are not worried about size of MCG: NZ pacer Southee


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Melbourne, March 27 : Countering former Australian batsman Matthew Hayden’s statement that New Zealand will struggle with the size of the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in the World Cup final, Kiwi pacer Tim Southee made it clear on Friday that the team is not worried about the size of the ground.

Co-hosts New Zealand entered the final of the mega-event for the first time with a victory over South Africa in the semi-finals on Tuesday. The Black Caps have played all their World Cup matches so far at home.

But now they are in Australia to play the final at the iconic MCG, a much bigger ground compared to those in New Zealand.

"We are not worried about the size of the ground," Southee said.

Australia’s former explosive opener Hayden on Thursday had said: “Kiwis are going to have to change the way they hit the ball in the final. The size of Eden Park in Auckland is ridiculous.

"It shouldn't be a cricket ground. If you can half throw it from the long off boundary to the opposite end, it's too small.”

The 26-year-old right-arm pacer Southee said that it was a dream come true for the boys to be in the final of the mega-event for the first time.

“It’s a dream come true for all the guys. As a kid growing up you either want to be an All Black or a Black Cap,” he said.

The Black Caps last played a One-Day-International (ODI) at the MCG on February 6, 2009, when the visitors came out victorious, registering a six-wicket win over the hosts.

Southee said his side is unbeaten in eight matches of the tournament and has enough players with experience on bigger grounds to be ready for Sunday’s final.

“We haven’t played here for a long time. We have good memories from that game as well (winning by six wickets),” Southee said.

Speaking on the massive crowd which is expected on the final on Sunday, the pacer said: “It’s a big cricket ground. There’s going to be a lot of people. It’s going to be loud. A lot of the guys have played in front of pretty big crowds in India."

Swing specialist Southee, who has 15 wickets in the tournament, said it has been quite a ride for the Black Caps as the rugby-mad nation gets behind its cricketers for a dream match-up against big brother Australia.

“The rivalry between Australia and New Zealand does pretty much cover every sport and it is massive,” said Southee, who has played in 93 ODIs.

Southee has been sharing the new ball with left-armer Trent Boult who tops the wicket-taking list with 21 victims.

Boult was the destroyer with 5/27 when the Black Caps beat Australia in Auckland during the pool games on February 28.

“We do have a great partnership. A bit of swing would be nice. It hasn’t swung for us in every game but we’ve found ways to take wickets. If it does swing, we do become a bit more dangerous,” Southee said.

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