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Tim Seifert played in the Black Caps’ first match at the T20 World Cup and is set to return for the final against Australia.
Tim Seifert’s Twenty20 World Cup looked to be over after one match, but he’s set to return for the biggest game of them all.
The wicketkeeper played in the Black Caps’ opening loss against Pakistan, but batted down the order, with Daryl Mitchell preferred as Martin Guptill’s opening partner.
When Gary Stead then had to find a place for Adam Milne for their second match against India, Seifert was the man to make way, and he’s remained on the sideline ever since.
Black Caps batter Devon Conway ruled out of T20 World Cup final.
But with Devon Conway ruled out of the decider after breaking his hand during the Black Caps’ semifinal win over England, he is expected to return for the clash with Australia at Dubai International Cricket Stadium [first ball Monday 3am NZ time].
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The Black Caps held the first of two optional trainings ahead of the final on Friday night local time and Conway could be seen helping Seifert prepare, his right hand wrapped in a cast.
In an interview after the session supplied by New Zealand Cricket, Seifert said he was ready to go if called upon.
“When you’re not playing, when you’re one of the reserve players, you’re always ready to go and preparing like you are going to play, because unfortunately injuries do happen, that’s just sport
“It’s very unfortunate for Devon, we’re gutted for him, but at the end of the day sometimes that’s sport and little things like that happen.
“As a player I’m ready to go, and I’m very excited to be playing – hopefully – in the World Cup final. It’s a dream come true.”
Conway has had a strong World Cup with the bat, playing key roles in their successful chases against Afghanistan, where he made an unbeaten 36 off 32, and England, where he made 46 off 38.
He broke his hand when he punched his bat in frustration after being stumped in the semifinal and will be sorely missed against Australia.
Seifert had a strong series against Pakistan on home soil at the end of last year, making 57 off 43, 84 not out off 63, and 35 off 30 in successive innings, but struggled for form against Australia in February and March, making just 27 runs off 43 balls across four innings.
He lost his place at the top of the order to Conway, who assumed wicketkeeping duties as well, for the final match of that series – a role now played by Mitchell, who has been the find of the tournament, making 49 off 35 in the Black Caps’ win over India and an unbeaten 72 off 46 against England.
Seifert is therefore likely to return down the order, where he batted and made a run-a-ball eight against Pakistan.
He said his experiences this year, in the Indian Premier League, with Kolkata Knight Riders, and in the Caribbean Premier League, with Trinbago Knight Riders, would stand him in good stead.
“It’s probably been the last year, two years, even beyond that, getting ready for these big events.
“I’ve had a pretty good period leading into this competition, with the experience of playing overseas and being around big environments, which has helped, especially in these conditions.
“I’ve prepared well and whatever team we put out there, I think everyone will be ready.”
The Black Caps are set to have a second optional training on Saturday night local time ahead of the final, which will crown a first-time winner.