With a few days before the 2019 World Cup (May 30) gets underway, it is time for the prediction hats to come off the closet. The upcoming showpiece event will see Australia defend the prestigious title, which they won by defeating the Kiwis in the finals of 2015 edition in their own backyard. New Zealand are quietly confident that they can again exceed expectations in their quest for a maiden title at this year’s tournament.
The Black Caps hope to shed their tag as gallant losers after making the World Cup semi-finals six times then finally reaching the decider four years ago, only to be soundly beaten by Australia.
With some experienced players in Ross Taylor, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Martin Guptill, the Kane Williamson-led side are surely reckoned to be strong contenders to lift the coveted 2019 World Cup trophy.
“You can no longer call them dark horses as their players are so experienced,” quoted former England skipper Mike Gatting.
“They play some great cricket, they always play as a team and they are well led by Kane Williamson. Ross Taylor is also a fine batsman, and in Tim Southee and Trent Boult they have match-winning bowlers,” Gatting added.
Kiwi senior opening batsman Martin Guptill hopes that there will be batting friendly wickets in the World Cup. “(I’ve got) a big smile on my face. They’re looking like some decent batting wickets, which is nice for me,” said Martin Guptill.
Key people need to play well
Veteran Kiwi batsman Ross Taylor mentioned that it is very important for the key players to do well in the upcoming showpiece event. He noted that the luck factor will also play a key role in the 50-overs tournament. “We need the key people playing well during the World Cup, and luck will be a big factor as well. Hopefully we can go one step further than we did four years ago in New Zealand. We were pipped at the last one, but I think the players will use that as motivation,” noted Ross Taylor.