New Zealand cricket team traditionally known as “The Black Caps”, were the 5th test-playing nation in 1929-30. Interestingly, they were known as the “Black Caps” after a poll was done to name the national team. New Zealand has always been a sharp nation at cricket. However, they may not possess an array of stars like Australia, India etc. but as a team, they are probably the best team that gel together like a unit. They have been quite consistent over a period and though are yet to win a major trophy; they have always threatened to do so.
Recently concluded 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup, they were also threatening to the big teams and even got to the semi-finals. However, in the semi finals they could not maintain their cool and composure. Moreover, were blown away by the brilliant Aussies. Still their effort must be praised, as they did not have so many excellent players like the big boys of world cricket like Australia, South Africa, and Sri Lanka etc. They have always been consistent throughout their cricketing history even though many teams have often gave shocking performances and went out of big tournaments like India in this year’s cricket world cup, who were tipped to win the cup by many initially, but couldn’t clear the 1st round! Their captain, Stephen Fleming, who just only resigned as ODI captain after this year’s world cup, were their inspiration and the most successful captain of all time for their nation having won 28 tests. Starting from the top, they have quite good openers like Lou Vincent and the captain, Fleming himself. In the middle order, the experienced players like Craig McMillan, Peter Fulton, and Ross Taylor etc. possess an interesting mix of experience and youth. Even though less in experience, these players have shown repeatedly that they can put their hand up in crucial situations and guide New Zealand through. The explosive wicket-keeper batsman, Brendon McMillan also gives strength to the team as he like the others showed in early 2007 against Australia what they are capable of and destroyed the Aussies in their background. Brendon McMillan also smashed the fastest 50 in World Cup Cricket history by hammering his way to 50 of just 20 balls in this year’s cricket world cup against Canada. However, the true great factor about New Zealand is their amount of all-rounders, which is rare in world cricket. They have three genuine all rounder, who can change the course of any match in Jacob Oram, Scott Styris, Daniel vettori and an upcoming 1 in James Franklin. In addition, the formidable bowling attack led by the man himself, “The man with the killer smile” – Shane Bond, also has killer and explosive pace, which is a nightmare for the batsman. Kyle Mills, Chris Martin etc. also provide great potency to the attack as well.
So, all in all New Zealand cricket have great potential in them to be the world’s top country one day and with the help and guidance of former New Zealand greats like Martin Crowe, Chris Cairns, Sir Richard Hadlee etc. always ready to help, they have great people to rely on for support and advice if ever needed. In addition, they have good coaches like John Wright who managed Indian Cricket Team, very well and helped them reach the ICC 2003 Cricket World Cup finals. The only thing missing from their repertoire are any major trophy though they won the ICC Knock out trophy in 2000 but it was not given much importance as the number of teams playing were less. Still, New Zealand has a bright future ahead of them with great potential in all their experienced and new upcoming stars.