TEAM GUIDE – NEW ZEALAND

With a whopping six semi-final exits to show for 11 World Cup campaigns, fans will hope New Zealand can get this proverbial monkey off the back by reaching a final – and winning.

They’ve graduated to the final once before, in 2015, but lost to trans-Tasman neighbours Australia.

Former coach and chief tactician Mike Hesson’s tenure has ended and they no longer boast the services of batsman Brendon McCullum and all-rounder Daniel Vettori, but the next generation is gradually starting to gel. Captain Kane Williamson and former skipper Ross Taylor are a formidable batting pairing, while seamers Trent Boult and Tim Southee will be among the finest exponents of swing and seam in United Kingdom conditions.

The Black Caps are quintessential cricket scrappers, prepared to augment talent with mental fortitude – and override mind games with the opposition. They typify the adage, ‘The whole is greater than the sum of its parts’ – and therein lies a hefty advantage among other teams arguably over-reliant on one or two star players.

Batsman To Bank On

martin guptill new zealand batsman cover drive

One of a few cricketers to boast a double-century in ODI cricket and the holder of two other 180-plus scores, opening batsman Martin Guptill is primed for another fine World Cup campaign. That 237 not out struck against the West Indies in Wellington during the 2015 World Cup was magnificent – and could comfortably be repeated or bettered in English conditions prepared for big individual and team totals.

Bowler To Bet On

ish sodhi bowling new zealand

Leg-spinner Ish Sodhi was an outside pick for the final 15-man squad, but Williamson insisted. The captain was obliged – and can look forward to deploying the tall slow bowler on pitches that will require the pace to be taken off the ball. Sodhi’s international career originated in Test cricket, but has evolved to limited-overs influence.

Key Fixture

As much as other teams need to avoid losing to underdogs, New Zealand must successfully navigate potential slip-ups against dark horses like Sri Lanka. The Kiwis are fourth in the International Cricket Council’s ODI rankings and Sri Lanka ninth, but a gap of five positions will hardly be evident come 1 June’s showdown in Cardiff.

Prediction

brendon mccullum captain loses

Kiwi fans will insist the team reach and win the final, but neutrals will be hard pressed to support anything more than another semi-final exit. New Zealand, indeed, are excellent in remaining in contention for bigger and better – but equally prone to failing at the final hurdles.

PROTEAS COACH OTTIS GIBSON: STATS AND FUTURE

| Cricket, Cricket World Cup 2019, Features, Latest | No Comments
We discuss the future of Proteas coach Ottis Gibson

PROTEAS AT THE WORLD CUP: SCORECARD

| Cricket World Cup 2019, Features, Latest | No Comments
08 July 2019, by: Carl Lewis PROTEAS AT THE WORLD CUP: SCORECARD After South Africa's worst showing at any World Cup, we take a look at how each and every…

SOUTH AFRICA V AUSTRALIA: WORLD CUP HISTORY

| Cricket World Cup 2019, Features, Latest | No Comments
27 June 2019, by: Carl Lewis SOUTH AFRICA V AUSTRALIA: THE HISTORY AT THE WORLD CUP South Africa face Australia in the final round-robin match of the World Cup on…

SA v SL PREVIEW: BET BOOSTS AND TIPS

| Cricket, Cricket World Cup 2019, Features, Latest | No Comments
27 June 2019, by: Carl Lewis SA v SL PREVIEW AND BET BOOSTS  It’s a weird match to predict because both sides are motivated by different objectives. Although they are…
instagram follower competition