Six Semi-finals appearances over Ten World Cups make the Kiwis one of the most consistent sides at Cricket’s showpiece event. But what it does not tell you is that they have never progressed beyond this. So, as we build up to the world cup, the question that is on every Kiwi fans’ mind is whether their national team would buck the trend and set the record straight this on their home soil or will they again flatter to deceive and fizzle out when it matters the most?
For starters, the World Cup is being co-hosted by them so one can the expect the crowd to really get behind them. Home Advantage can be a real asset as we saw in the Last World Cup as well. The Black Caps come into the World Cup with a squad full of match winners and virtually all bases covered.
They are led by the mercurial and hard- hitting batsman Brendon McCullum, who can win matches on his own when he strikes it big. But all eyes will be on Kane Williamson, the young batsman who is one of the best ODI players in the world currently along with AB De Villiers and Hashim Amla. He can very well end up being the Tournament’s Highest Run-Scorer. Add to the mix, the likes of Ross Taylor, Martin Guptill and Tom Latham have good batting skills to boot. However, New Zealand is blessed to have good quality all-rounder at their disposal. The experienced Grant Elliot, young explosive Corey Anderson and Wicket-Keeper Batsman Luke Ronchi are all proven match winners.
The All Blacks also have a good pace battery and spinners as well. Tim Southee and Trent Boult are two bowlers that any side would love to have. Apart from this, they also have Adam Milne who can surprise many with his pace and swing. Mitchell McClenaghan is another exciting prospect in the offering. One must not forget the wily Kyle Mills, who indeed is a class act.
In the Spin Department, they have Daniel Vettori, who in all probability is playing his last ICC event and would like to show that he’s still got it. Partnering Vettori is Nathan McCullum who is a good bowler in Limited overs and a pretty handy batsman as well. All in all, one can say that Mike Hesson’s side are well knit unit, equipped adequately in all Departments.
The last time New Zealand hosted a World Cup was in 1992 when the Martin Crowe led side dominated the group stage (it comprised of all the eight teams playing each other at least once) winning 7 out of their 8 matches only to lose out to Imran Khan’s men at the Last Four stage. Eight years later the Kiwis won the Inaugural edition of the ICC Champions Trophy (then known as ICC Knock out Cup). Sadly, since that memorable triumph, the Black Caps have never won an ICC Event.
The 2015 World Cup presents them the perfect chance to clinch a World Cup. On paper, they have one of the best sides going into the tournament. But as we all know Cricket is funny game and anything can happen on a given day.