New Zealand

2010-10-13 18:23

Captain: Daniel Vettori

Number of World Cup Participations: 9

ODI Ranking (November 2010): 4th

Coach: Mark Greatbatch

World Cup Champions: Not yet

New Zealand is perhaps more famous for producing Test rugby stars in vast quantities, but their cricket team is not without its own superstars – Mark Greatbatch, Richard Hadlee, Stephen Fleming, Martin Crowe, Brendon McCullum, Chris Cairns, Scott Styris and Chris Harris are all players who, in the last 30 years of international cricket, have left indelible marks on the sport.

Any measure of their success – and they're moderately successful with spikes of high achievement - has come through consistently good leadership, most notably Martin Crowe, Stephen Fleming and the current skipper Daniel Vettori. Explosive players like McCullum, Ross Taylor and the larger-than-life Jesse Ryder will need to be tempered by the consistently intelligent approach of Vettori if the Black Caps are to make significant inroads in the 2011 World Cup.

They are capable of posting large scores, and getting off to incredibly positive starts with the likes of Ryder, Taylor and McCullum the men who make hitting sixes a regular habit. In 2007, Brendon McCullum scored the fastest World Cup fifty (off 20 balls) for New Zealand against Canada, beating Mark Boucher's 21-ball record set against the Netherlands six days earlier.

Their weakness however comes in two departments – they lack another aggressive and consistent opening batsman, with Martin Guptill and Aaron Redmond not quite good enough at international level, and they may struggle in the bowling department if seamer Kyle Mills doesn't perform.

Vettori will be the mainstay of the bowling attack, especially on the slow, low sub-continental wickets, but he will need able support from the fairly average Jeetan Patel, as well as the other seamers Tim Southee and Daryl Tuffey.

The Black Caps have had a measure of success of late, with ODI series wins over Bangladesh (who are fairly formidable these days) and Pakistan in 2009/2010. But their fairly poor overall win percentage in ODI of just 43% means that they'll have to be pretty special in 2011 to compete for the title. Thus far their best result in World Cups came in 2007 where they defeated the South Africans in the 3rd/4th playoff to take the bronze medal.

New Zealand captain Dan Vettori leads his troops with another wicket. (Getty)


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