Friday, April 30, 2010

New Zealand

I have always liked the New Zealand team as they don't have a huge base to select the players from yet, manage to do well in major tournaments. NZ would be captained by Vettori.

Key players

Vettori- Since the retirement of Fleming, Vettori has done an admirable job as the captain of the side. NZ depend a lot on Vettori, as he is easily their main spinner, a fine batsman lower down the order, captain of the side and for sometime was even managing the team! I have to surely talk a bit more about his spin bowling prowess. It isn't a huge surprise that he is one of the better bowlers in this format. He doesn't get much turn nor does he get bounce, but the ability to bowl subtle changes in pace, backed up by a very good arm ball, makes him a huge threat on the slow wickets of the Caribbean. He has improved his batting too and can annoy the best of bowlers by hitting in unusual areas. In short, for NZ to do well, they need Vettori to perform in every game.

Bond- As we know that Bond is a genuine strike bowler, though has been troubled by injuries. Bond these days, doesn't always bowl quick, which is expected as he is 34 now and has been let down by injuries, but has developed a slower bouncer and that has helped him to get wickets in the T/20 format. He is still a threat as he gets such enormous inswing with the new ball. The only thing that Vettori should be wary of is, Bond bowling in the end overs. In the past, Bond hasn't been at his best in the end overs and as a result I think Vettori shouldn't use him in the end overs. He is very good with the new ball, so why can't Vettori use him only as a new ball bowler?

McCullum- He is the highest run-getter in T/20 internationals and has the ability to get big scores at a very good rate. McCullum recently scored 116 against Australia and that is a great achievement as scoring a century in the T/20 format isn't easy. Just like most short players, he is very strong square of the wicket. McCullum is a decent keeper too, though seems to be very reluctant to do the job in the T/20 format. NZ do have a decent middle-order, but I have no doubt about the fact that the key player in their batting line-up is McCullum.

Taylor- He doesn't have a very good record in T/20 internationals and failed in the IPL. His tendency to smash everything on the on-side didn't help him as everyone started to bowl a bit wide of off stump, still he is a vital cog in their middle order. Ross is also a fine fielder.

Styris- Many may be surprised that I have included Styris, but his dibbly dobblers can be the key on those slow wickets. It wasn't surprising that he got 4 wickets against the Caribbean team in the warm up game. As a batsman, he has the ability to rotate the strike and that is another key factor to consider as they are playing on slow wickets. If fit, NZ could have also selected Elliott as he is also good at rotating the strike and has a fine temperament. Just like Styris, he too can bowl dibbly dobblers.

I would also like to mention Mills, as he is a good bowler in the shorter versions of the game. He can get swing with the new ball and has developed a clever change of pace. Mills is also underrated as a batsman as I have seen him showing decent technique when it is assisting the swing bowlers and is a clean striker of the ball. I once saw him hit a full strength Australian attack all over the park and almost won them the game. NZ should use him as a floater as Oram hasn't been in good form as a batsman, but the management have been reluctant to do that. Of course, just like many other players in the side, Mills too has been troubled by injuries and that is a bit of worry.Ryder is also in the side, but he is coming back from an injury.

The major worry for NZ is, to have 11 fit players to take the field! The Kiwis also tend to depend on McCullum for runs, so they need the likes of Ryder, Taylor and co. to fire.

NZ' main strength is, they have a decent bowling attack as they have many options like Vettori can even ask the likes of Styris, Ryder and Oram to bowl medium pace and all three can do well on those slow wickets of the Caribbean. Southee has shown that he can bowl well in the end overs and that is going to help Vettori as Bond has struggled a bit in the end overs. Actually, Vettori can use Southee only as a death overs specialist as he was recently very effective against Australia and has also tended to go for runs with the new ball.

First of all, they have to think of not just Lanka but even Zimb. as they too have the line up to do well at Guyana and if they progress to the super eights they can be a dangerous team.


Suhas said...

Glad you mentioned Styris, he is a much better cricketer than people give him credit for. And he is the only current NZer who knows what it's like to have won a major tournament (Champions Trophy 2000). Oram is a bit of a liability at the moment, however.

I think Group B could well be the group of death, with Zimbabwe lifting their game of late.

greyblazer said...

Styris is a useful one-day cricketer and should do well in the Caribbean.

Zimb have 5 spinners in their line up and that is why they can be a tricky opponent.

Wes said...

Love this preview, been waiting so long for you to let the cat out of the sack. Styris is the man, may the others mock him or not take him seriously but he is such a gritty guy, he reminds me a bit of Katich in his krabbiness if you know what I mean. He clings to the match and fights nail and tooth but he is also effective and has penetration. Great cricketer in his very own way.

World T20: Racing Through The Warm-Ups!

greyblazer said...

Lol I thought I won't be spared for saying the pig can be one of the key players.

man_in_beige said...

Styris was NZs best player in the ODI world cup in the West Indies back in 2007, so he might enjoy this tournament as well.

Wes said...

Ryder is the man, Oram finding back to form (having fun playing positively is always the best recipe), N. McCullum being a gutsy cricketer, all three of them enjoyed the warm-ups and will hopefully continue to strike.

The match nearly killed me, but yes, smiles all around.


Of guts and glory: Kiwis bag first victory