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New Zealand veterans spurred by 2015 World Cup failure

New Zealand veterans spurred by 2015 World Cup failure

WELLINGTON: After a surprise run to the final of the 2015 Cricket World Cup, New Zealand are quietly confident they can again exceed expectations in their quest for a maiden title at this year’s tournament.
The Black Caps hope to shed their tag as gallant losers after making the World Cup semi-finals six times then finally reaching the decider four years ago, only to be soundly beaten by Australia.
While Kane Williamson has replaced Brendon McCullum as captain, the core of the team that came so close to glory remains, giving the New Zealanders powerful motivation for the one-day showpiece that begins in London on May 30.
Boasting a strong batting line-up and a bowling attack expected to flourish in seam-friendly English conditions, the battle-hardened Black Caps are modest but brimming with belief.
“If we play close to our potential, then hopefully we can do New Zealand proud,” said coach Gary Stead.
The Black Caps have a strong one-day international record since late 2017, including series whitewashes against Pakistan, the West Indies, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
There was also a tight 3-2 series loss to England, currently favourites to win the World Cup on home turf.
Williamson’s men blotted their copybook with a 4-1 loss to India earlier this year that raised doubts about their ability against top-class opposition and tempered fans’ hopes for the World Cup.
But the New Zealanders were insistent the lopsided scoreline was misleading and bounced back to beat India in a T20 series.
They enter the tournament ranked fourth in the world, behind England, India and South Africa.

M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.