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Will 2019 be the year of the Kiwis?

Monday, May 20, 2019 • Common Sport News Comments

The talk of the town is now the 2019 Cricket World Cup. With just 10 days to go, the excitement is increasing day by day. Every team has their own strength to boast of. In that light, let us take a look at the New Zealand team and their chances this year.

New Zealands batting line up will pose a tough challenge to bowlers. Along with Captain Kane Williamson, batsmen such as Ross Taylor and Martin Guptill have proved their mettle time and time again. Kane Williamson’s captaincy was instrumental in the performance of his team in the IPL, reaching the playoffs in both 2018 and 2019. Williamson’s batting consistency can be seen in his 11 centuries and 37 fifties in 139 matches. ICC Number 3 ranked batsman Ross Taylor with an average in ODIs of 48.32, also has 20 centuries and 47 half-centuries to his name. Guptill will be another tough player to contend with. His experience and skills will be invaluable to the Black Caps. With an ability to bat well against spin and fast bowlers, the batsman has won matches single-handedly for his team.

Looking at the all-rounders, NZ has strong players who will add significantly to the bowling and batting of their team. Mitchell Santner has taken 63 wickets in 55 innings. Corey Anderson has also been a valuable addition to the team with 60 wickets in 43 innings, and a batting record of one century and four half-centuries. Not to forget Colin de Grandhomme who has turned around more than one match for RCB in IPL 2018. These players will be crucial in the middle overs and in determining the course of the match.

New Zealand’s strongest department appears to be bowling. With Trent Boult, Mitchell McClenaghan and Tim Southee, the team has three top fast bowlers who are capable of causing havoc in the opponent’s batting order. Their statistics show just what they are capable of. ICC Number 2 ranked Boult has taken 147 wickets in 79 matches with an economy of 5.08. He has 5 five wicket hauls till now. McClenaghan has taken 82 wickets in 45 innings, and Southee has 185 wickets in 139 matches. They also have spinner Ish Sodhi, who will be able to pick up wickets in the middle overs.

It is always said that ‘Catches win matches’, and this team is one that can hold on to the ball well. Be it catches in the deep or run outs, the players have shown on multiple occasions that they can keep the batsmen on their toes. One remembers Boult’s one-handed stunner in IPL 2018 to get Captain Kohli out. Thus the Kiwis have another advantage in fielding that can help them emerge on the winning side of the tournament for the first time.

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