New Zealand, as always, is considered to be one of the underdogs in the World Cup tournament given that they have managed to reach the finals just once, in the last edition held in Australia and their backyard. The Kane Williamson led side was the first one to name their final 15-man squad for the tournament and also had a long gap to wind down and now will be back to their best.
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.
“New Zealand are in a sweet spot. No-one’s talking about us too much. We’re forever the underdogs and that suits us quite well,” quoted former New Zealand all-rounder James Franklin.
We’ve still been playing very consistent cricket
During a recent interview, Franklin stated that although New Zealand haven’t been leading in the cricketing world, but they have been playing consistent cricket. He reckoned that England has been in front in the recent years. “We haven’t been leading the world, I think England have been in front in recent years, but we’ve still been playing very consistent cricket,” he added.
“If we can get some form going over the next few weeks, there’s no reason why New Zealand couldn’t go on and win the World Cup,” Franklin said. “I think the New Zealand public and team will be confident they can go deep into the tournament,” he added.
Franklin noted that Williamson’s batting is probably a reflection of his leadership. He stated that it is methodical, efficient and world-class. “I think Kane has a quietness about him, but he’s assertive and he knows what he wants. In terms of his leadership, his batting is probably a reflection of it. It’s methodical, but sneakily efficient and world-class. I think his captaincy is exactly the same. I don’t think he’s a Brendon McCullum-style leader, when you see everything and it’s attacking,” he said.