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Why New Zealand is one of the candidates to lift the World Cup, in spite series defeat to India

Though it wasn’t a campaign to remember for, the Black Caps are still to be considered as contenders to lift the iconic World Cup Trophy

Last updated: 04.02.2019
Why New Zealand is one of the candidates to lift the World Cup, in spite series defeat to India | Sports Social Blog

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Before the start of the series between New Zealand and India, it was the Kiwis who were being considered as the real test for the men in blue as the ICC Cricket World Cup of 2019 looms large. It eventually turned out to be disappointing display by the host nation as they faltered against Team India by facing a 4-1 defeat in the series.

Though it wasn’t a campaign to remember for, the Black Caps are still to be considered as contenders to lift the iconic World Cup Trophy in England and Wales given the firepower they have in their armoury. Theirs mellowed down approach in the cricket field creates a pretty contrasting identity in comparison to their counterparts – Australia who look to be ever so aggressive and full of verbal jibes while contesting with bat and ball.

In spite of the grounded identity, the New Zealand cricket team has packed a punch on quite a few occasions in the World event.


The ICC Cricket World Cup of 2015 was a revelation for the Kiwis as they booked themselves a berth in the finals of the tournament which saw them beat the likes of Sri Lanka, West Indies, Australia, and South Africa before they lost to the Aussies when they squared off once again, but this time in the finals of the tournament.

Though they had come second in the campaign, New Zealand’s persistence and never say die attitude on the ground sparked a bit of fire in their bellies and inspired more of such players to be a part of the next World Cup, which is now just months away from initiation.

        (New Zealand breaks South African hearts in the 2015 edition of the World Cup)

New Zealand might be without the services of Brendon Mccullum in a forthcoming world event, but a worthy candidate in the sense of Kane Williamson is right up there, who will take the onus of leading his nation.

Williamson is considered the finest batsman in modern day cricket, given the old school technique he heavily relies on, which has paid huge dividends for him in his cricketing career. With over 5000 ODI runs at an average of 45.66, Kane Williamson will certainly be a tough cookie to crack for the opposition bowlers. His ability to anchor an innings with the calm and collected head while providing adequate support to the other batsmen truly defines him as one of the world beaters in today’s day and age.

Apart from the steady headed Kane Williamson, the Kiwis also have big hitters of their own with the likes of Martin Guptill leading the pack. Guptill’s trailblazing knock of 237 of just the 163 deliveries with 24 boundaries and 11 sixes against Windies in the 2015 edition of the World Cup will still be fresh in his head as soon as gets set to wears the pads, to open the innings in the biggest stages of them all.

         (Kane Williamson will be leading the Kiwis in the forthcoming World Cup)

Jimmy Neesham’s belligerence with the heavy bat has created quite a stir in recent times as well. His five consecutive sixes on Thissara Perea’s over sent shockwaves to the cricket fraternity by warning them not bowl in his radar, as he could strike big.

Neesham’s quickfire 44 of 32 deliveries in the final ODI against India spoke volumes about what New Zealand was missing in the middle order, and Neesham’s presence in the batting line-up will only solidify their chances of posting a big total or chasing a big one.

Another player who knows the in and outs of international cricket is New Zealand’s Mr Reliable – Ross Taylor, who’s also on his way of becoming the top run getter for New Zealand in ODI cricket while overhauling Stephen Fleming. Though Taylor might not be much of an aggressor like he earlier was, his ability to manoeuvre the field and taking it to the final overs has made him a crux to consistency with the willow in the colouredrun-getteruntering spin bowling has been a problem for New Zealand throughout the cricketing years, but Tom Latham’s availability has now given them hope, as he tends to block and navigate the spinners through ones and twos of his own, which would indefinitely play a an influential role towards the remaining batters.

They might have not squared off well against the Indian bowlers but on paper the New Zealand batting line-up continues to look as solid as ever while heading to the world cup. Some might say that the series defeat came in as an early wake-up call for Williamson and his men, in order to buckle themselves before the tournament progresses. The series might have ended with four victories in India’s favor, but that one win at Hamilton in the fourth ODI brought out the best of New Zealand’s abilities to decapitate any formidable team on their given day. Trent Boult’s zippy pace with his left arm caught several Indian batsmen off guard, and what made him even more dangerous on that day was the nature of the wicket, which is exactly how English conditions are expected to be.

       (Trent Boult to spearhead the pace attack)

Being accommodated with a seasoned pacer such as Tim Southee, who’s execution with the yorker length makes him a bowler to watch out for, along with Neil Wagner’s forte of bowling the quick bouncers in the middle overs displays the perfect composition of fast bowling.

Though England might have conditions favourable for the fast bowlers, it is the spinners role in the World tournament which will play a crucial factor for any and every time, while considering bowlers such as Rashid Khan, Kuldeep Yadav, and Adil Rashid proved to be the stand out wicket-takers in the year 2018. The dimensions of cricket have changed, and it’s almost as certain that a spinner guarantees his team a wicket. That’s when the wrist spinner from the Indian decent – Ish Sodhi will step in for New Zealand to take on the responsibility of scalping a few victims in the middle. Mitchell  Santner’s added support with left-arm spin of his own while bowling in tandem with Sodhi might turn out to be one of the most deadly bowling pairs in the world cup.

Had New Zealand and their skipper been a tad more attacking with his field placements and their batting display against the Indians, the story might have been slightly different for Williamson and his men. Though it was an unwanted result for the hosts the defeat has to be taken down as a learning curve for the kiwis with the world cup in sight, which will surely and certainly harden them in the time to come.

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