'No Pietersen makes our job easier' - Styris
Scott Styris has labelled as "massive" the absence of Kevin Pietersen for New Zealand's must-win game against England on Monday. Pietersen has flown home for the birth of his first child and although he is planning to return for the semi-finals, his temporary unavailability could hurt England's hopes in this match.
England are all but assured of a spot in the final four, while New Zealand have to win to progress. Pietersen is the third-leading run scorer in the tournament so far and his 53 was crucial in winning their game against South Africa on Saturday.
"It's going to be massive," Styris said. "He's probably been, along with Jayawardene, one of the two best batsmen in the competition. He was outstanding yesterday against South Africa and he can win a game single-handedly. He's world-class and without him, we know that it makes our job easier, although we still have to put the ball in the right areas.
"England are going to be very difficult. They've been the form team in the competition, or one of the form teams. They're playing good cricket, they're confident, and confident teams in Twenty20 cricket are hard to beat. I like to think we've got some momentum - we've won all bar one of our games. England are playing well as well so it'll be a good contest."
New Zealand are coming off a morale-boosting last-ball win over Pakistan, but Styris said the result could not mask the fact that improvement was needed in their batting. The New Zealanders struggled to 133 for 7 from their full 20 overs and Styris said to go on and have greater success in the tournament, the batsmen had to be prepared to take more risks.
"We seemed to play with a little bit of fear yesterday," Styris said. "By that, I mean guys were a little scared of taking risks and playing the big shots. In this version of the game, especially in big games, you've got to be prepared to get out. I felt that as a group we didn't do that. I think we have to go in to the next game [without] fear of getting out and failing, and try and take the game by the scruff of the neck."