New Zealand Cricket 2.0

The Kiwis have always been an overperforming team at World Cups, a sort of polar opposite of South African teams over the years. They have consistently reached the last 4, against the run of play and form, pulling off upsets consistently. 1999, 2007 and 2011 come to mind, but for the first time since 1992, the New Zealand cricket team will enter a World Cup as one of the favorites. The underdog favorites, perhaps, but definitely not the darkest of horses.

The Black Caps need to be feared, not only because they’re playing in familiar conditions and green tops at home, but because they’ve pulled off one of the greatest 18-month turnarounds for a single cricket team in recent times. 18 months ago, they were bowled out for 45 by the Proteas. Brendon McCullum took charge, and almost instantaneously, the results began to trickle in. 2014 has been  watershed year for NZ cricket: McCullum became the first-ever NZ batsman to score over 1000 test runs in a year, the team has won 5 tests (a new record), and they probably have the best young bowling line-up in world cricket. ODI cricket aside, this NZ side has proven that they are contenders.

They began the year with an upset 1-0 win against overseas whipping boys India at home over two tests. This will chiefly be remembered for McCullum’s absolute dominance as a batsman—a double century in the first test and a TRIPLE century, NZ’s first in test history, in the second test to save his team after finding themselves more than 300 runs behind in the second innings. This was a defining innings, a signature and almighty stamp, a call for arrival of the most swashbuckling keeper-batsman since Gilchrist.

The tone was set. NZ visited West Indies, and won the series 2-1, as they were expected to. They’ve never been good travellers, but here they showed character and fought back to claim a satisfying series victory, a rare one at that.

The defining tour of the year came when NZ visited UAE to play Pakistan, lost the first test miserably, and were hit by the death of Phil Hughes a day into the third test. Pakistan had dominated that day, but after that, magic happened. McCullum destroyed a strong Pakistani attack, and outplayed the team for 4 days, winning their first test against them in decades. The series was drawn 1-1. Bolt and Southee formed the most destructive two-pronged pace attack of the year in tests. This brave test form was followed by a 1-1 T20 fightback, and a stunning 3-2 ODI series victory, after being 1-2 down in the series. It is here that youngsters like Kane Williamson, who is now a world-class batsman and shrewd ODI captain, Adam Milne (a quickie in the folds of Shane Bond), Henry, McClenaghan and Devcich have stood up, forming the most balanced bowling side in ODI cricket. Williamson and Taylor have filled the middle order with runs, while Vettori and McCullum have kept the runs down with their middle overs. 

NZ have now won the first test against Sri Lanka, another poor traveling team, with McCullum almost scoring the fastest double of all time, eventually fading for 195 crazy runs. SL followed on, fought bravely, but the likes of Boult and Southee bowled 38 overs each, showing will and an insane level of fitness and mental fortitude to squeeze out another impressive win.

Test wins against India, West Indies, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in a single year, including one in the sub-continent, are achievements that even Australia and South Africa struggle to achieve. This isn’t the meek, mild and hopeless NZ team that just filled up the numbers in test cricket for a decade. Vettori led them bravely through their darkest times, with no players at his disposal, but now most of them are punching above their weight, and shocking teams into submission.

New Zealand will be one of the four to make the semis of the upcoming World Cup. The other three could be Australia, South Africa and perhaps India. But this time, in the semis, NZ will be feared. If they beat South Africa like they did in 2011, it won’t be an upset. It will be a job well done.

отправить заявку на кредитную картукак получить кредитную карту тинькофф

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


+ one = 7

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

More in Cricket

  • Top 5 One-Hit Wonder Batting Stars

    The craft of batting in cricket has arguably seen more evolution than any other area over the last decade. It becomes...

    Rahul DesaiJanuary 18, 2017
  • Gujarat’s Ranji Trophy Fairytale

    A month ago, I stood in one of Ahmedabad’s famous optician stores. I observed the customers as I waited for a...

    Rahul DesaiJanuary 17, 2017
  • Chinks in India’s ODI Armour

    India v/s England, ODI series Result: India win first game to lead 1-0 in 3-match series   It ended up becoming...

    Rahul DesaiJanuary 16, 2017
  • Preview: India v/s England, ODI series

    India played only seven ODIs in 2016, and so ex-captain M.S. Dhoni (takes a while to get used to this term) always...

    Rahul DesaiJanuary 11, 2017
  • Ranji Trophy: A Shaw-shot Superstar

    A precocious 13-year-old pint-sized boy holds a bat far too large for him. In fact, his helmet and pads make him...

    Rahul DesaiJanuary 10, 2017
  • Redialling MS Dhoni, The Finisher

    In 2008, on the final day of the fourth and final Test match of the series between India and Australia in...

    Rahul DesaiJanuary 5, 2017
  • Five Important Cricketing Events In 2017

    As of now, two depressingly one-sided tours are underway: Pakistan’s tour of Australia, and Sri Lanka’s tour of South Africa. Both...

    Rahul DesaiJanuary 4, 2017
  • 2016: A Year in Test Cricket

    A few hours ago, Pakistan did a Pakistan, only days after almost chasing down the highest ever Test score against Australia....

    Rahul DesaiDecember 30, 2016
  • Karun Nair: The Everyday Hero

    5th test, India v/s England, Chennai From the top tier of the Northern Stand at the Wankhede stadium last week, in...

    Rahul DesaiDecember 20, 2016

All articles/blogs are intended to inform, entertain and amuse. We make no representations or guarantees about the truth, accuracy or quality of any content.

Copyright 2016 © Bigtree Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. All Rights Reserved