By Arjun Prasad
After a groundbreaking tournament in 1992, New Zealand get the opportunity to host the prestigious cricket world cup once again and the Black Caps seem all geared up to deliver on the same.
The Kiwis have introduced a host of talented individuals to the world stage on more than one occasion and this time seems to be no different. With plenty of match winners in their ranks, the Black Caps will look to eclipse what their previous generation struggled to do and win the big one at home.
Strengths- After the 1992 side, this may well be New Zealand’s best squad ever. Armed with plenty of all rounders in their side, the Kiwis look a solid outfit. With McCullum, Guptill, Williamson and Anderson in their ranks, the Black Caps possess an enviable batting lineup. The Bowling department too is not far behind with the pace sensations Trent Boult and Tim Southee ably guided by the wily spinners in the experienced Vettori and Nathan McCullum.
Weakness – Despite the plethora of talent, the Kiwis lack experience on the big stage. They have generally succumbed to pressure in the later stages of the tournament and the ‘home’ factor will add on to the same issue. They have generally been a ‘quarter final side’ and must look to push the envelope to the next hurdle. They have thrown away games at crucial stages of the earlier tournaments and will look to learn from their mistakes.
Trump Card – Kane Williamson is touted to be one of the future greats of the game and rightly so. The Kiwi all rounder has had a phenomenal run of form in the recent past and will look to carry the necessary momentum heading into the world cup. He has outshined his contemporaries in the recent series against Pakistan and Sri Lanka and certainly looks the man to change the fortune for the joint hosts.
Squad: Brendon McCullum (captain), Trent Boult, Grant Elliott, Tom Latham, Martin Guptill, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Adam Milne, Daniel Vettori, Kane Williamson, Corey Anderson, Tim Southee, Luke Ronchi (wicketkeeper), Ross Taylor