New Zealand coach hopes Tendulkar says 'happy birthday' to Black Caps
Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP)
New Zealand coach Gary Stead said he hoped Sachin Tendulkar would pass on his regards after the India great wished MS Dhoni a "happy birthday and all the very best for the next two games" ahead of their World Cup semi-final.
Dhoni, still India's wicketkeeper and captain when a side featuring Tendulkar won the 2011 World Cup final, turned 38 on Sunday.
Tendulkar took to Twitter to pass on his best wishes but the implication of his remarks was that India would beat New Zealand in Tuesday's semi-final at Old Trafford and go on to face either hosts England or reigning champions Australia in the July 14 final at Lord's.
"Wish you a happy birthday @msdhoni! Have a great year. All the very best for the next two games," Tendulkar tweeted.
Stead, asked what he thought of Tendulkar's words, told reporters ahead of a New Zealand training session at Old Trafford on Sunday: "I'm sure he would do that.
"I didn't know that but hopefully we have a 'birthday' coming up and he wishes one of our guys it too."
New Zealand finished fourth in the 10-team group stage and only edged out Pakistan from a place in the knockout stages on net run-rate.
They also come into Tuesday's match having lost their last three games -- against Pakistan, Australia and England.
But Stead, who saw his side's group match against India in Nottingham on June 13 washed out without a ball bowled, was unconcerned by the fact few gave New Zealand much of a chance.
"I hope everyone thinks that. I'm not spending a lot of time worrying about what other people are thinking, whether we should be here or not," he said.
"India are a quality team. There's no doubt they've got match-winners right throughout their line-up.
"Hopefully you'll see what Kiwis are made of out there as well, that 'no die' attitude and I guess stand up when we need to."
? 2019 AFP