New Zealand huffed and puffed their way into the semi-finals of World Cup 2019 despite a great start to the tournament. Three losses on the trot threatened to end New Zealand's campaign pre-maturely. However, net run-rate came to their rescue after Pakistan ended the league stage with the same number of points (11). New Zealand will take on table-toppers India in the first semi-final at Old Trafford in Manchester on Tuesday with the latter being the overwhelming favourites in the tie. But in-form pacer Lockie Ferguson is unpertubed by his team's "underdogs" tag.
India, whose league match against New Zealand was washed out, are many pundits' tip to make it through to a July 14 final at Lord's where they will face either tournament hosts England or reigning champions Australia.
Ferguson, speaking to reporters at Old Trafford on Sunday, had no problems with people talking down New Zealand's chances of winning a first World Cup title.
"It's an interesting one. I guess in World Cups obviously big games get pumped up and where we stand is the fourth going into the semi-finals so naturally I guess they back India," he said.
"But as New Zealanders we are often the underdogs and I guess that's a position we like to be in and it's knockout cricket now. so it's all on Tuesday and the better team will go through."
He added: "As a team, we definitely want to be the scrappers, guys that scrap for wins, not always will we win pretty.
"But in a way we kind of pride ourselves on the ability to come back from tough situations and scrap our way and give ourselves an opportunity to win."
Ferguson has had an impressive first World Cup.
Despite missing New Zealand's 119-run defeat by England last time out with a hamstring injury, he remains joint-third in the tournament's list of leading wicket-takers with 17 scalps.
Ferguson insisted, however, he would be fit to face India.
"There was definitely some tightness particularly the day before the game," the 28-year-old said ahead of New Zealand's training session.
"The scans came back, it was nothing too serious so a few days off.
"Hopefully I'll get out today and have a run around and everything will be good."
(With AFP inputs)