Neesham plays down hype over NZ vs AFG, says it is a normal game for us

The match between New Zealand and Afghanistan is just a normal game for Jimmy Neesham and he is concerned about what the people from outside think. The clash has been billed as a virtual quarterfinal by the fans and cricket experts considering its importance in the race for semi-finals. If the Kiwis beat the Mohammad Nabi-led team, they will qualify for the knockout stage but if they lose, India could end up playing in the last four stage.

Speaking after New Zealand’s big win over Namibia on Saturday, James Neesham said New Zealand know what needs to be done.

“Honestly, there has been a lot of talk about that from the outside but for us, even before the very first tournament, we knew that we had to knock over one of India and Pakistan and win the rest of the games and get through. It was a very simple equation,” Neesham said.

“We are focussing on each game as it comes. Zero disrespect to Namibia and Scotland in the T20 rankings point of view. We knew all teams had enough quality to knock anyone out on their way.

“For us, it’s just about going and taking care of our game. I am sure, if at the start of the tournament, we were offered a virtual quarter-final against Afghanistan in the last game, we would have taken that. So we will prepare for the next game just as we have been preparing for every other game,” Neesham added.