New Zealand seamer Kyle Mills says his team's current slump in ODIs means they can only improve from here. He reckons they have the side to win the World Cup and that India, Sri Lanka and Australia are the other teams that he thinks will make the semi-finals.
Mills spoke to Yahoo! Cricket about his memories of the 1992 World Cup, his last-minute exclusion from the 2007 World Cup, and what he hopes to do in 2011.
New Zealand have had a form slump.
What can we expect from them at the World Cup?
Once we get to India and get into the hype of the
tournament, no stones will be left unturned and I can guarantee that every
member of this squad and the management group will be doing every thing they
possibly can for the duration of the whole tournament. Everyone’s going to give
a hundred per cent, training hard for it. So there would be nothing left in the
tank at the end of the World Cup.
had missed the 2007 World Cup due to injury. What are your thoughts heading
into the 2011 World Cup?
It’s been one of my major goals for the
past four years, having missed out on the World Cup in the West
Indies. I felt like I was in very good form at that time and to
have a knee surgery just before the tournament was a massive disappointment.
Not a day goes by without me thinking about it, you know, partaking and winning
this coming World Cup in 2011. So it has been at the forefront of my mind for a
very long time.
Zealand did well at all three World Cups in the 1990s, particularly 1992. What
are your memories of these events?
The 1992 World Cup sticks out pretty clear
because I was young and cricket was my passion. I went to every game at Eden Park.
Our coach now Mark Greatbatch had a very successful tournament during the World
Cup. It was a very well-run tournament as well. And with the New Zealand team playing at home
winning every game, it was definitely a good place to be living in at the time.
these memories shaped your cricketing career in some way?
I think during that time I tried to bowl
and bat like Greatbatch with our team in the backyard. It definitely shaped
one-day cricket. The World Cup after that, most teams approached it like New Zealand
did in 1992. That stands out for sure.
are your concerns as a fast bowler heading into the flat, slow pitches of the
Being an opening bowler the easiest time to
bat on these flat, low, slow wickets is when the ball is hard at the start of
the innings. There’s no way to hide out there so what I’ve got to focus on is
individual plans for batsmen and being able to execute them. I just like to bowl
a nice, tight line and don’t give any width, don’t bowl any loose balls because
it’s pretty tough as it is. So I have to hold on to my execution and hopefully
it will swing a little bit and hopefully I’ll get a little bit of success to
the team in that way.
four teams do you think will make the World Cup semi-finals?
Even though we’re going through a rough
patch, I do believe we have the players to win a World Cup. It’s just a matter
of having a little bit of luck and I believe cricket is a big momentum sport. If
we get that momentum during the World Cup, I think we will go a long way. So
I’m gonna throw us in there. I think India will be pretty tough to beat
at home. Sri Lanka
who are a very well-balanced side and have some world class players will be
tough to beat and they are playing in home conditions. And obviously Australia
... they’re tough to beat anywhere you play them.
important is the tour of India
heading into the World Cup?
Look, it’s really important for a number of
reasons --- the form we’re in at the moment and it’s our last series on Indian
soil heading into the World Cup. We’ve got a great opportunity to adjust to the
India have a pretty good
line-up. How difficult are they to bowl against?
Extremely difficult, especially on these
flat, low wickets that don’t offer much assistance to fast bowlers. And they
are a side that has a lot of depth in the top-order. So it doesn’t matter who
they put out there in the top six, you know it will be a quality player and
they have confidence as well. So if you can get a few wickets early, you can
nullify that confidence, and have a little bit of success because they do rely
on confidence and their fans at home. They are extremely tough.
do you bounce back from the recent run of defeats?
I guess it will be character building for
us. You’ve got to start at the bottom to get to the top. It’s been a massive
learning curve for me and the team. It’s a hole that’s uncomfortable and
unpleasant. I’m sure we’ll learn a lot about ourselves as individuals and as a
team and we’re going to get ourselves out of this hole because no one likes
being in this. It will take a couple of wins to get some confidence and
cricket’s a funny old game. It can be anyone’s for the taking on the day.