There was a stage in the ongoing ICC World Cup 2019, when New Zealand was comfortably placed in contention for the top spot in the points table. With five wins and a draw from their first six matches, they were on a roll, looking almost unbeatable. However, the Kiwis have lost their winning momentum, losing two lopsided affairs against Pakistan and Australia.
Moreover, their qualification is still not confirmed. They have one game to go against the tournament favourites England. Moreover, both the teams have endured the same kind of journey so far; both got off a nice start to their campaigns but faded away in the latter half. Though they still have fates in their own hands, the confidence is definitely not on their side. However, legendary New Zealand spinner Daniel Vettori has backed his team.
“I still feel that this New Zealand side can make history and win it all,” said Vettori in an ICC Media column. “Two losses at this stage will be tough to take but they have been so good for so long and have so many experienced players that I am sure they will pull through.”
They have played some really good cricket
The likes of Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor and Trent Boult have been constantly delivering, and Vettori has backed all these experienced players. “The nature of this New Zealand team for an extended period of time now has been to stay pretty constant, to not panic. They will understand that they have played some really good cricket in this tournament,” said Vettori. He showed confidence in his team, saying that the team has played some amazing brand of cricket, and need not panic due to these losses.
He advised the team to concentrate on building big partnerships, in order to tackle those conditions. He also opined that New Zealand need not lose hope since their net run rate (+0.572) is good enough to get them through, even if they lose their remaining games. It’s clear that New Zealand has come up a long way, and won’t leave any stones unturned to defeat England.
“The only question mark for them will be the surfaces they were playing on. It looks like across the board the surfaces are getting lower and slower That makes it more difficult for batting and those partnerships are going to become more important, I am sure that will be a big focus against England,” Vettori concluded.