The Kiwis have made the finals of the last two editions of the tournament – in 2015 and 2019 and will once again be the ‘dark horse’ team to watch out for.
Within the Kiwi squad, there are three exceptional players whose performances are expected to leave a lasting impression on the global stage. Let’s take a closer look at these three match-winners, who could well be instrumental in determining what kind of a campaign the Black Caps have this time.
Kane Williamson: The Master Batter
Kane Williamson, the linchpin of the New Zealand cricket team, is a true maestro. Renowned for his graceful stroke play and impeccable timing, Williamson has repeatedly proven his ability to single-handedly steer his side to victory. His exceptional leadership qualities and composure under pressure make him one of the standout players to watch out for in the World Cup this time.
Williamson’s stats speak volumes about his consistency and impact on the team. With 161 matches under his belt, he boasts an impressive average of 47.83 in ODIs, having amassed 42 fifties and 13 centuries. His highest score of 148 demonstrates his ability to convert good starts into substantial innings. Additionally, his strike rate of 80.97 showcases his ability to rotate strike and accelerate when needed.
He had been sidelined with injury for large parts of this year. But in the 3 ODI innings he has played so far he has scored 164 runs, with a highest score of 85 and is averaging almost 56.
Trent Boult: The Swing Maestro
Trent Boult, New Zealand’s swing and seam specialist, is a true stalwart in their bowling arsenal. His ability to extract movement both ways at a decent pace makes him a formidable threat to batters. Boult’s knack for grabbing early wickets sets the tone for the Kiwis, and his efficiency in the death overs adds invaluable depth to their attack.
Boult’s ODI stats paint a picture of his prowess with the ball. With 104 matches and 197 wickets to his name, he boasts an economy rate of 4.94 and best figures of 7/34. His ability to strike at crucial junctures makes him a vital cog in New Zealand’s wheel.
How important he is in the Kiwi scheme of things was evident when he was picked in the World Cup squad, despite having opted out of a central NZ contract.
Mitchell Santner: The Spin All-Rounder
Mitchell Santner, New Zealand’s spinning all-rounder, brings a multifaceted dimension to the squad. His accurate left-arm spin and valuable batting skills make him a pivotal asset. Santner has a knack for delivering crucial breakthroughs with the ball and the ability to score quick runs down the order, adding versatility to the Kiwi lineup.
Santner’s stats underline his contributions with both bat and ball. With 94 matches to his name, he has claimed 91 wickets with an economy rate of 4.87. His best figures of 5/50 demonstrates his knack for breaking partnerships. In addition, his batting prowess is evident from his 3511 runs at an impressive average of 38.58.
New Zealand enters the ODI World Cup 2023 with a formidable lineup, marked by a strong bowling attack, exceptional fielding skills, and the leadership of Kane Williamson. While they possess the potential to make a significant impact, challenges such as inconsistency and susceptibility to spin bowling must be overcome. As the cricketing extravaganza unfolds, the performances of key players like Williamson, Boult, and Santner will be instrumental in shaping New Zealand’s journey. Let’s buckle up for a thrilling cricketing spectacle, as the Kiwis look to exorcise the ghosts of the heartbreaking 2019 final.