Black Caps going to 2011 World Cup with poor form, loss of confidence

Monday, February 7, 2011

WELLINGTON - New Zealand travel to the Indian subcontinent on Tuesday for the 2011 cricket World Cup in very different circumstances to what they were as a side in 2007.

Then, they headed to the West Indies-hosted World Cup on the back of one of their most memorable and captivating one-day series wins, a 3-0 whitewash of Australia which included two spectacular run chases of well over 300.

Confidence was high, key players were in form and New Zealand, as they have so often done at World Cups, played good cricket to reach the semi-finals before bowing out to Sri Lanka.

Now, they go to India Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, with a side that has been inconsistent in batting and is experiencing a loss of confidence.

So, according to, the stars are hardly aligning but on the plus side for New Zealand are two key factors.

Despite their series defeat, the players appear to genuinely believe they have the talent to be competitive and go deep into the World Cup.

That belief is fairly held, but it is their state of mind in big games that raises questions.

The tournament’s format is also an advantage. They really only need to beat minnows Kenya, Zimbabwe and Canada to be assured of making the quarterfinals, and from there it is all about two or three of New Zealand’s trump cards firing on the given day.

It sounds simple enough but, for a team who have won just two of their past 16 matches, nothing is simple.

The New Zealanders will also have to adapt to the reverse swinging ball, which will come more into play on the abrasive subcontinent pitches than it does at home.

Their bowling up front has been pretty consistent. We are trying to master the art of reverse swing bowling. With the rough wickets in the subcontinent, it’s an area that we need to keep getting better at.

New Zealand has two warm-up matches, against Ireland at Nagpur on Saturday and India at Chennai on February 16. Their first group match is against Kenya at Chennai on February 20. (ANI)

Filed under: Cricket

will not be displayed