New Zealand, alongside South Africa, is one such team that always get a contention but has never won a world cup. Closest they came to winning the championship was in the final of 2015 edition, which they unfortunately lost. The situation is nearly the same even in 2019. New Zealand enters into the world cup with a team strong in all 3 dimensions. However, no one is giving a percentage to this New Zealand side to make it to the semi final of World Cup 2019. Let us look at the team facts that New Zealand will play with during the world cup.
Though quite strong at batting and bowling, what New Zealand lacks is a genuine batting all-rounder that can win the matches under pressure. Guptill, Nicholls, and Williamson make it a formidable top order. Ross Taylor at four and Latham at five gives a stable middle order as well.
Lack of impactful All-rounder
However, the real trouble starts after that. CDG and Neesham are good players, but their inconsistency with the bat is a cause of concern. Though CDG has played all games in recent past but hasn’t really scored big. Neesham has been in and out of the national side in the last year. It is in recent ODIs that he has shown a form, but it does not mean a consistency that Kiwis are looking out of him.
This is one strong foray for New Zealand since quite some time. In Boult and Southee, the team has the best pair of opening bowlers. Both can be lethal especially in the conditions assisting swing and seam, which English pitches anyway do. Neesham and CDG are good options for middle periods, that can pick up the wickets. Ish Sodhi has been consistent for the team in one last year and he is expected to carry his form in the world cup.
Captain Kane’s New Zealand
Captained by Kane Williamson, New Zealand’s 12th edition team is more of Captain Kane’s New Zealand. In recent past, Williamson has won the ODIs more out of his tactics than the team strength. Known for reading the pitch well and shrewd moves, he is a captain par excellence. During the batting, he plays an anchor role and innings is built around his individual inning.
If New Zealand wants to have a real chance of lifting the trophy this world cup, they need to ensure the best utilization of their all-rounders.