New Zealand Cricket Team: Predicting their chances in 2019 World Cup

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The 12th edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup is round the corner – Wales and England are all heated up to host the grand sporting event. Unlike in 2015, there will be 10 teams competing against each other for the prestigious title. For all the betting fans out there, we have come out with genuine predictions about New Zealand (ICC ranking in ODI is 3) in the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

About the team

The New Zealand national cricket team, nicknamed the Black Caps, played their first test in 1930 against England in Christchurch, becoming the fifth country to play Test cricket. New Zealand is ranked number 3 in the ODI cricket as per the ICC rankings. However, the country has never won a men’s cricket World Cup even though it made to the finals in 2015 and then collapsed in front of the Australian Cricket team who took away the World Cup. The betting fans out there must be curious to know their present stand in the ICC Cricket World Cup. Major Global teams have gone through a transition in the past 4–5 years which resulted in decreased performance; take for example, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and West Indies. On the other hand, New Zealand is one such team who’s managed to tread through difficult waters post the McCullum-Vettori era.

So what are the chances of New Zealand winning the cup? Well, with betting odds of 9.00, the team may turn up 5th in this World Cup, but again, there are some extremely good ODI players in the New Zealand side. Martin Guptill is one of the world’s few batsmen to have scored a double century in ODI cricket while Colin Munro has taken all the risks to become one of the most feared batsmen in limited overs cricket. Further, Kane Williamson is the heart of this batting line-up – playing risk-free cricket while scoring decent. Ross Taylor and Tom Latham are a part of a strong middle order.

The Squad that was picked to represent New Zealand in the ICC Cricket World Cup are:

  • Kane Williamson
  • Martin Guptil
  • Ross Taylor
  • Colin Munro
  • Colin de Grandhomme
  • James Neesham
  • Mitchell Santner
  • Tom Blundell (Wicket Keeper)
  • Tom Latham (Wicket Keeper)
  • Henry Nicholls
  • Lockie Ferguson
  • Trent Boult
  • Matt Henry
  • Ish Sodhi
  • Tim Southee

Strengths

The presence of all-rounders provides balance to this team, Colin de Grandhomme, and Tim Southee are all capable with both, bat and ball. The real strength of New Zealand, though, lies in its bowling line-up. Lockie Ferguson, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, and Trent Boult are star wicket takers in all conditions. However, the emergence of young players like Henry Nicholls at the top of the order is of great relevance. They have a strong batting line up with Guptill and Munro at top giving them cracking starts followed by Williamson, Taylor and Latham steadying the middle order. The team has all-rounders like Corey Anderson and James Neesham to consolidate the innings.

What to worry about?

New Zealand has a potential to make it to the semi-finals but again, they are likely to face England, Australia and India again in the knockouts and the finals if they reach that stage. The team of 1992 under Martin Crowe was perhaps one of their times ever. The absence of Crowe in a semi final game against Pakistan and a swash buckling 60 of just 37 balls from a 22 year old Inzi crushed all their dreams of lifting the trophy. Let us not forget that this team is known to choke at wrong times.

The problem lies in their death bowling, their middle order, their fielding, and their running between the wickets. The team’s bowling at the end of the innings has not been good for a while. The kiwis failed to defend a massive T20 total against Australia last year. If we look at the previous record, one can definitely infer that there is too much variation and not enough accuracy. Further, their ability to bowl yorkers is extremely poor. Matt Henry managed one right at the end of the first ODI against Sri Lanka, but as a group, the bowlers indeed struggle. Further, the team’s fielding skills have degraded than it was a few years ago. They dropped chance after chance in the second ODI. The running between wickets was also not good enough. Ross Taylor, in particular, needs to work on his skills. In the second ODI, Taylor was involved in two run-outs. Before the series against India, Taylor needs to spend time practising running between wickets. It may seem odd at his age, but Taylor can get a lot better with specialised coaching.

*Betting Odds- 9.00

World Cup 2019 prediction- 5th Position

The NZL Cricket team has the talent to win the World Cup if a large share of the luck is on their side but on a practical note, they need to sort out the existing weaknesses in a hurry before it’s too late.

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