New Zealand walked into the tournament with very slim chances of making it to the knockouts. They were pitted in the group featuring two Asian giants, India and Pakistan. Many had even expected Afghanistan to go one up over New Zealand but apart from the solitary defeat against Pakistan, the kiwis have been sensational.
They strangled India to knock them out of contention. New Zealand later went on to squash Afghan hopes too. They finished 2nd in their group to face England in the semis. Even then, England were touted to be the favourites. But New Zealand stunned England to storm into their maiden T20 World Cup final.
Now they stand a chance to win their first-ever World Cup. Standing between them and the trophy is Australia, who surprisingly haven’t won this coveted trophy.
We look at 3 reasons why we believe New Zealand might end up winning their first World Cup:
#3 They don’t rely on star power
New Zealand’s cricketing culture is built on team effort rather than on star power. Richard Hadlee was probably the standout kiwi player for the longest time. Since the heady Hadlee days, the black caps have relied on collective performances.
Their golden run started with Brendon McCullum’s leadership. No one player is bigger than the team and the team is for everyone. This is the very principle that their team is built on. The Kiwis have had different match-winners right through the 2021 T20 World Cup. They will be banking on the entire team to deliver for them one more time.
#2 Play percentage cricket to perfection
The Kiwis believe in doing the little things (basic) right. They don’t explode with the bat unless very necessary. New Zealand hold their aces right until it’s showtime. Owing to this attitude, they were able to usurp a mighty England team in the semifinals. They play the matchups to perfection without throwing away the subtlest of hints. New Zealand might have already identified areas of executing percentage cricket against the Aussies. Expect nothing less than them.
#1 Master tactician at the helm
It won’t be wrong to admit that Kane Williamson is arguably the world’s best captain currently. He took over from McCullum and has taken New Zealand to greater heights. Williamson is the first captain to lead his side into finals of all three formats at the same time.
New Zealand narrowly missed out on being the ODI World Cup champions in 2019. While they emerged deserving winners of the inaugural WTC in 2021. They have a golden chance of becoming the first team to win 2 ICC trophies in a single year. Who better than the master strategist, Williamson to lead them there.