So here we go with the second edition of the world cup preview here at the Fineleg and to some, it might come as surprise who is second favorites on our list to lift the trophy.
The Black Caps… yes, your eyes are not deceiving you! Stop frowning Dammit!!
Let me explain.
First of all it is home turf for the kiwis as well, and at home they are very good. Home turf and a batting line up with a number of players who can take the game away from you with some devastating stroke play. Names like THE Brendan McCullum, Taylor, Williamson, Anderson, Guptil (when and if he decides to leave his mental worms at home) and Ronchi. Only problem for them is consistency with the willow but if one fires big, it is difficult to stop them. It’s a long batting line up and you have to remember the batting skills of a Vetori, Mills and yes even Southee has a shot or two. All and all a very well balanced batting line up with experience and that my dear cricket fans, is what counts in the big arena.
The Bowling also looks to be very well balanced and littered with experience and pace. The experience of a Mills and Southee with the pace of a McClenaghan (try spelling that without looking 5 times on cricinfo) and Boult who both left arm over and swinging at pace has had many a top order batsmen looking at them with frowns on their faces and nodding their heads while walking back to the showers. Then… Adam Milne, this boy can bowl! He has serious gas with a touch of lightning about him. 155 kph average with the capability to go beyond 160! I would rather step on my wickets and wet myself in the corner of the cloaks before facing that thank you very much. When it comes to the spin department you have oodles of grit and determination with a boat load of experience in Vetori and Nathen. What more can you ask for?
These oaks are scary well balanced and selection is going to be there only problem pre-match day if everyone is fit. On match day they will have to overcome their dependence of a McCullum innings, at a time it almost seemed like without him scoring, they are not scoring! Taylor and Williamson have to get their bats in the air for them be consistent. If you can survive the first 10 overs without being pulled apart by the opening bowlers and survive the pace after that with a proper platform in the last 25-20 overs, you can get a big one against these guys as confidence in the new ball is important for them and death bowling sometimes a problem.
Overall they are my favorite to win as being from the Africa of the South we tend not to like the Auzies. So get your black caps out and the silver ferns growing… It’s going to be an interesting one!