World Cup Semi-Final: Brendon McCullum, Kevin Pietersen Engage In Banter Over New Zealand's Projected Total Against India

Updated: 10 July 2019 13:08 IST

New Zealand were a mediocre 211/5 off 46.1 overs in the World Cup 2019 semi-final with India when rain halted play on Tuesday.

World Cup Semi-Final: Brendon McCullum, Kevin Pietersen Engage In Banter Over New Zealand
Ross Taylor and Tom Latham were unbeaten at the crease when rain stopped play. © AFP

Brendon McCullum, captain of the New Zealand team that finished as runners-up in the 2015 World Cup, believes that a projected total of 250-plus might be challenging enough for India in a rain-affected World Cup 2019 semi-final match in Manchester. New Zealand were 211 for five when rain stopped play at Old Trafford and deferred the match to the reserve day on Wednesday. Former England captain Kevin Pietersen, however, took a funny dig at Brendon McCullum's projected total, only to engage in a friendly banter with the former New Zealand skipper.

"Around 250 would never be enough in a bilateral series between these two teams on this surface but in a World Cup semi final....it may just be!," McCullum said on Twitter.

Pietersen replied on the tweet, saying: "Haven't got 250 yet!"

McCullum came back with a stat attack, saying only two teams (Bangladesh and India) have successfully chased 250 or a greater total in the ongoing World Cup and neither of them were under the pressure of semi-finals.

"But when they do...only 2 teams have successfully chased 250 or greater in this World Cup so far. And none of them in the pressure cooker of Semi finals! Cheers KP! Well batted the other day too," McCullum tweeted.

In the league stage of the 10-man round-robin tournament, Bangladesh chased down a target of 322 to beat the West Indies by seven wickets in Taunton. India, after more than two weeks, chased down a target of 265 to hand Sri Lanka a seven-wicket loss in Leeds.

India have won the World Cup twice in 1983 and 2011, while New Zealand are yet to claim a maiden title at the ICC showpiece event. New Zealand's best at the World Cup has been a runners-up finish in 2015, when they lost to Australia in the summit clash at Melbourne.

Highlights
  • Brendon McCullum led New Zealand to the final in 2015 World Cup
  • He believes that a total of 250-plus might be challenging for India
  • Kevin Pietersen, however, took a funny dig at McCullum's prediction
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