Former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum thinkgs that New Zealand can be world cup winners this summer. The Black caps are currently undefeated in the tournament so far and are on course to reach semi finals.
They clinched a thrilling win against West Indies by 5 runs on Saturday. With that result, New Zealand are currently table toppers with 11 points in just 6 matches. The match against India was washed out and they were forced to share the point.
All in all, New Zealand are looking like a well settled side and have impressed the most in this tournament. The Kiwis had reached the world cup finals in 2015 under Brendon McCullum. But McCullum believes they can go the distance in the current edition.
“Some people say underdogs but probably they don’t see New Zealand play that often. Broadcast-wise they are not seen as often as some of the other teams and hence they are out of sight out of mind thing”, McCullum told AFP.
It is no doubt that New Zealand are one of the most consistent sides in world cup history.
They have at least reached semi finals in majority of ICC world cup events since 1975. However, they will need to overcome their nerves in the knockout games to win their first world cup ever.
“The World Cup historically for New Zealand has always been very, very good. I think we are second in most wins behind Australia in World Cup matches.”
Apart from New Zealand, India, Australia and England are expected to reach four barring any surprises for the fourth place. Both India and Australia also looked dominant in their proceedings.
But England had two surprise defeats to Pakistan and Sri Lanka. These results put their qualification in risk. However, they need to bring their A game for their upcoming matches against the top three teams in this world cup.
“I think the weather didn’t help but the back end of this tournament hopefully we will see some really exciting cricket and clear skies, said McCullum.
“To me, it’s fair to say you are probably looking at England, India, Australia and New Zealand (in the semi-finals). Whoever is able to seize that big moment when it does arise? I’m sure New Zealand will be confident they can.”
New Zealand have found the right balance against their opponents. However, the team did not face any stern test against top opponent yet. Their game against India was abandoned due to weather.
But the team will now face hosts England, Australia and Pakistan in their last three games. These matches will definitely help everyone understand the level of cricket they are playing at the moment. Needless to say, New Zealand despite being termed as under dogs, managed to brush aside all the sides that came through.