Auckland: New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson admits his players are braced for a verbal onslaught from Australia in their blockbuster World Cup clash in Auckland on Saturday.
The Eden Park duel is likely to decide who tops Pool A and plays a relatively weaker team from Pool B in the quarter-finals. As a result, Anderson feels the Black Caps will face a charged-up Australia, but insists if the sledging starts, it will be one-way traffic.
Corey Anderson. Pic/ AFP
"Their sledging tactics are well known now and something we haven't involved ourselves in," Anderson told reporters. "We're fairly neutral on the field. We stick to what we do. We'll be expecting a bit of heat from them and I guess that's part of their game-plan and we'll just deal with it as it comes."
Anderson, 24, said that despite the two sides not having completed a match against each other since the 2011 World Cup when Australia won by seven wickets, there will be few surprises come game day. "You can play these guys without being in the international arena and see what they're like. They're not going to be foreign," said Anderson, who has yet to face his trans-Tasman rivals.
"They're our neighbours from across the ditch. They don't have guys who come out of the back of the hand, anything like that. We just have to go about our work and stick by our blueprint."
New Zealand are in a better position as they have won all their three games at this World Cup while Australia have not been in action since their convincing 111-run win against England in the opening game on February 14. Their second game against Bangladesh was abandoned due to heavy rain in Brisbane on Saturday
. That prompted Australian opener Aaron Finch to declare the pressure of expectation will be on New Zealand as they will also be playing before a packed Eden Park. But Anderson played down the pressure hype. "That might be mind games. It's the World Cup and every game is a pressure situation."It's exciting for us and we look at it as a positive to come out in front of a packed crowd at Eden Park, who hopefully will get stuck into the Aussies."
"With the amount of hype leading into the World Cup, and into the England game, then to come off such a great win, and such a big high, there's pros and cons with having a break," said Anderson. The fast-rising all-rounder smashed a match-winning 75 and took two wickets in New Zealand's seven-wicket win against Sri Lanka and then took three more wickets in a lacklustre three-wicket victory against Scotland.
New Zealand also hammered England by eight wickets in their last game, which Anderson believed put the Black Caps in a winning groove. "We are on a bit of a roll and it would be nice to continue that. But the break will have done everybody good so we can come back in fresh."