Kane Williamson has proven that he is much more than just a Test batsman. Photo: Paul Childs/Reuters

New Zealand made it all the way to the 2015 World Cup final, but came up short against Australia.

They’ve broken South African hearts in the last two tournaments, but can they take the trophy this time?

Top Two Batsmen: Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor

Kane Williamson has shown that he is so much more than just a Test batsman. He has a fine ODI record, with 11 hundreds in 139 matches, at an average of 45.90. He is able to rotate the strike, as well as hit much-needed boundaries.

Williamson will have to bat through most of the games if the Black Caps want to contend for the title, having battled to get going in the IPL.

Ross Taylor is heading to a remarkable fourth World Cup. He is the leading run-scorer in New Zealand ODI cricket with 8 026 at a superb average of 48.34.

Taylor, though, doesn’t have the best World Cup record, having hit just four half-centuries in 21 innings.

Top Two Bowlers: Tim Southee, Trent Boult

It’s pace, pace and more pace for the Kiwis, and they will hope to encounter some helpful English conditions.

They have two outstanding exponents in Tim Southee and Trent Boult, who complement each other’s bowling.

Southee uses the seam and tries to generate swing, while Boult brings further variety with his left-armers, and he is able to bowl it at a rapid speed.

Trent Boult brings pace and variety to the New Zealand attack. Photo: John Cowpland/AP
Trent Boult brings pace and variety to the New Zealand attack. Photo: John Cowpland/AP

Captain: Kane Williamson

While his batting exploits are well known, Williamson has matured into a tough, streetwise captain over the years. He handles the pressure well, and doesn’t get flustered at the crease, even if he makes a slow start to his innings.

His biggest challenge will be to juggle his attack to either take 10 wickets or restrict the opposition to a par score.

Semi-Final Chances

New Zealand are probably not as strong as in previous years, especially in the bowling department. But they have always been a team who work well as a unit instead of relying on stars.

They will play consistent cricket, and could very well sneak into the last-four if one of the ‘big guns’ Australia, England, India and South Africa falter.

New Zealand Group Matches

1 June (11.30am): Sri Lanka, Cardiff

5 June (2.30pm): Bangladesh, London (The Oval)

8 June (2.30pm): Afghanistan, Taunton

13 June (11.30am): India, Nottingham

19 June (11.30am): South Africa, Birmingham

22 June (2.30pm): West Indies, Manchester

26 June (11.30am): Pakistan, Birmingham

29 June (2.30pm): Australia, London (Lord’s)

3 July (11.30am): England, Chester-le-Street

@ashfakmohamed


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