A first World Cup loss to hosts India has done little to dampen spirits in the New Zealand camp, with players soaking up the delights of Dharamsala and revelling in a visit to the Dalai Lama.
New Zealand have the luxury of back-to-back games in the former British hill station where they face a resurgent Australia on Saturday (28).
Having sweated through a week in the steamy southern city of Chennai, Tom Latham’s squad have relished the cool, mountain air in the last few days in Dharamsala where the Himalayas provide a stunning backdrop.
With the town also the base of the Tibetan government-in-exile, New Zealand players jumped at the chance to meet the organisation’s spiritual leader.
“This morning most of the group went to meet the Dalai Lama in person at his residence which was amazing,” said batsman Will Young.
“The boys have had a good chance to obviously get stuck into the cricket but also have a bit of down-time as well.”
Former captain and batting guru Kane Williamson, rarely anything but tranquil at the crease, was among the group and beamed as he held the Dalai Lama’s hand in a photo shoot.
The good vibes can hardly hurt Williamson as he patiently waits to be declared fit to return to action after a long-term knee injury.
With a 4-1 record midway through the group phase, 2019 runners-up New Zealand are sitting pretty at third in the standings.
The top four reach the semi-finals.
Young raved about the team’s resort-style hotel, its “beautiful pool”, leisurely walks in the hills and the “great” local food.
“It’s awesome to show up for work and get stuck in such a cool place,” he said.
“The cricket, as well, is just a bonus.”