World Cup 2015: New Zealand February 24, 2015

Anderson undaunted about facing neighbours

Corey Anderson on the Eden Park ground: "It's a different ground and we're lucky we've played there a reasonable amount of times and it's been a reasonable hunting ground" © Getty Images

Corey Anderson has said New Zealand will not be daunted by the visit of "their neighbours from across the ditch" for one of the most eagerly anticipated matches in the country's cricket history.

A sell-out crowd will cram into Eden Park, the rugby stadium that masquerades as a cricket ground, and promises to create an atmosphere to rival that on show during New Zealand's thrashing of England in Wellington. It has long been considered that these two matches in the middle of New Zealand's group stage - England followed by Australia - would give a true indication of where the team stands after their prolific run of one-day results; 12 wins in their last 17 matches.

The manner they dispatched England, led by Tim Southee's 7 for 33 and Brendon McCullum's 25-ball 77, means it has become increasingly difficult for even the most wary of New Zealand followers not to be embraced by the surge the team has put together.

But there remains a sense of uncertainty about how the Trans-Tasman clash will unfold when New Zealand's batting line-up is pitted against whichever combination of quicks Australia decide to field. However, Anderson insists the Australians will not have any unknown quantity for the home sides.

"They're not going to be foreign, they're our neighbours from across the ditch," he said. "They don't have guys who come out the back of hand, anything like that. We just have to go about our work and stick by our blueprint."

Neither is Anderson perturbed by the comments from Aaron Finch that the pressure will all be on New Zealand, instead calling for the Eden Park crowd to get "stuck in" in response to any verbals the Australians decide to dish out.

"That might be mind games. It's the World Cup, every game is a pressure situation. It's exciting for us and we look at is as a positive to come out in front of packed crowd at Eden Park who hopefully will get stuck into the Aussies. I'm sure the next few days it will sink in about how big it's going to be at Eden Park.

"Their sledging tactics are well known now and something we haven't involved ourselves in. We're fairly neutral on the field, stick to what we do. We'll be expecting a bit of heat from them and I guess that's part of their game plan and we'll just deal with it as it comes."

Yet, while Anderson insists New Zealand will not be overwhelmed by the Australians, he concedes that there is one aspect of the game that takes a strong will to overcome - the incredibly short Eden Park boundaries, which are a mere flick for the current-day batsmen.

"It's a bit daunting when you walk back to your run-up and can almost touch the boundary," he said. "It's not the nicest feeling as bowler. As a batter it's nice. It's a different ground and we're lucky we've played there a reasonable amount of times and it's been a reasonable hunting ground. We'll have the same plans from the last few times we've played there.

"I think it's a ground where you need to change it up a lot. If you miss slightly you can get taken to. Top edges don't go for four, they go for six. It's one of those things, just get on with it."

Regardless of the sledging, the short boundaries or the prospect of Australia's fearsome pace attack, there is one overriding emotion for Anderson ahead of the match. To savour an occasion that could be unlike any other.

"It's a World Cup game and definitely the biggest in my career, and certainly for the other players as well. It's the pinnacle to play Australia in our own backyard, and in the World Cup, so I know we're all excited."

Andrew McGlashan is a senior assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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