New Zealand had lost not a single game in this World Cup and was 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, thanks to the brilliance of Pakistan’s Babar Azam and then the collective effort of Australia. Seated on 3rd position in the points table with 11 in their bank and a good Net Run Rate, they are still to qualify.
New Zealand is left with one last match in the league stage against England. They made an impressive start in the tournament, but as the tournament progressed both the teams started to fade away. Other teams started to analyze the loopholes in both sides’ strategies and successfully tried to exploit them. Both the teams have their fate in their hands, yet having lost its last 2 games, New Zealand may find itself in a spot of bother. 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.” New Zealand’s experienced guns like Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, and Trent Boult are consistently delivering for Kiwis, and Vettori has backed all these experienced players.
Vettori believes there are very few concerns for New Zealand in this tournament moving into the business end of the tournament, and their inability to post big totals on the board is one of them. “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 feels that slow pitches are the reason New Zealand is not able to build big scores of 300 or 350 consistently. The ‘Black Caps’ have lost both their matches on slow decks.
He believes that have New Zealand has a very good chance of making it to the top 4. With a good NRR +0.572, even if they lose the remaining match their chances are still bright. Vettori advised Kiwis that, they have had played some wonderful Cricket so far, and the team should not panic at the cost of 2 defeats. New Zealand has been very consistent and confident and that’s how their approach needs to be ahead in this tournament, says Vettori.