As India and New Zealand get ready to lock horns in the semi-final of the ongoing ICC Men's Cricket World Cup, Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) acting president CK Khanna lauded the team's performance in the group stage and he hoped that the side would perform to their ability in the semi-final.
"The whole country is proud of our team, captain Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri. Due to their hard work, we have progressed to the semi-finals. I would like to congratulate the team on finishing at the top spot in the group stage. I am sure the team will perform to their ability in the semi-final," Khanna told ANI.
"The side has been showing good performances from the very start. The team showed good performance against South Africa and Australia and it set a good base for us. It has been a complete team effort," he added.
Wicket-keeper batsman MS Dhoni celebrated his 38th birthday on Sunday and the ongoing World Cup is being called as the veteran's last. Khanna said besides the cricketing skills, Dhoni is an amazing human being and he is loved worldwide for this quality.
"Dhoni is an amazing human being. People will remember him for being an amazing human being. He has many fans across the world and he has left a lasting impression on everyone," Khanna said.
India have won the World Cup twice (1983 and 2011) whereas New Zealand are yet to lift the trophy.
The Men in Blue finished the group stage at the top of the standings with 15 points from nine matches whereas New Zealand finished the round robin stage at the fourth position with 11 points from nine matches.
India would enter the semi-finals with winning momentum behind their back as they won their last two matches. On the other hand, the Kiwis have lost their last two matches and they would look to change their fortunes around.
In the warm-up fixture ahead of the World Cup the Kiwi side came out triumphant.
Rohit Sharma has been in exceptional form for the Men in Blue as he has scored 647 runs in the tournament so far. Sharma has scored five centuries in the ongoing World Cup. Sharma recently broke the record for scoring the most number of centuries in a single edition of the World Cup.
Skipper Kohli has also been in good form as he has managed to score 441 runs in eight innings. The player has failed to score any century but he recorded five consecutive five-centuries.
India takes on New Zealand in the first semi-final of the World Cup today in Manchester.