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ICC World Cup 2019: New Zealand Swot analysis – Veterans look to end the pain of 2015

Some of the big names have retained their place in the 15-member squad and they will look to end the pain of 2015. An experienced core is what makes ‘The Black Caps’ a formidable side going into the multi-national event in UK.

cricket Updated: May 25, 2019 09:43 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
FILE: New Zealand's Kane Williamson, right, celebrates after scoring the winning runs to defeat Australia in their Cricket World Cup match in Auckland, New Zealand 2015.
FILE: New Zealand's Kane Williamson, right, celebrates after scoring the winning runs to defeat Australia in their Cricket World Cup match in Auckland, New Zealand 2015.(AP)
         

New Zealand made it into their maiden World Cup final four years ago and while their fans may think otherwise, the Kiwis will have to be content with being the Dark Horses for the showpiece event in England and Wales.

Over the years, New Zealand have been guilty of throwing it away in the business end of the tournament as they have reached the semis on six occasions but never managed to go further until the last edition. (Squads, Schedule, News: Full Coverage of ICC World Cup 2019)

Some of the big names have retained their place in the 15-member squad and they will look to end the pain of 2015. An experienced core is what makes ‘The Black Caps’ a formidable side going into the multi-national event in UK.

Strengths

Pacers: New Zealand fast-bowlers have scalped 405 wickets since 2015 World Cup and only Australia (446) have a better tally than the Kiwis. Trent Boult has led the New Zealand bowling attack very well and he is leading wicket-taking seamer in the world since the 2015 WC.

Also Read: India vs New Zealand World Cup warm-up match: Who will bat No. 4 for India?

Experienced core: Stalwarts like Ross Taylor, Martin Guptill, Tim Southee, Kane Williamson and Trent Boult form a formidable core of this Kiwi side. These players have 79 appearances in World Cups among them and their experience of playing at the biggest stage will definitely come in handy.

Captain Marvel: Skipper Kane Williamson is regarded as one of the best in the world and his form will decided if Kiwis are to leave their mark on the competition. His form in England has been unbelievable as he has scored eight 50+ scores in his last 10 matches in the country.

Weaknesses

Spinners: While New Zealand pacers have set the standard in bowling, their spinners haven’t achieved the same for a while now. The Kiwi tweakers have picked up just 140 wickets since 2015 WC, which is the third lowest by a team. They are only ahead of Australia and West Indies in this unwanted list.

Middle-order problems: Ross Taylor has contributed 37.33% of the middle order runs since the last World Cup and the rest of the 17 batsmen have contributed 62.67% runs. The Kiwis will have to end this over-reliance on their star batsman if they are to go the distance this time around.

Opportunities

The over-dependence on Ross Taylor means the likes of Jimmy Neesham, Tom Latham and Henry Nicholls will have ample opportunity to show their worth on the biggest stage. The trio have scored 2485 runs collectively, 497 runs fewer than Ross Taylor alone.

Threats

New Zealand seem to have a balanced side on paper however, one problem for them is that they don’t have an experienced reserve wicket-keeper. The Kiwis suffered a big blow as regular keeper Tom Latham was ruled out of the two warm-up matches due to injury. So if Latham doesn’t get fit in time for the team’s first World Cup match, Tom Blundell will have to keep wickets and his inexperience may come back to haunt the team.

New Zealand World Cup Squad

Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson

First Published: May 25, 2019 08:55 IST

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