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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Will the Kiwis fly at the World Cup?

New Zealand is on a high after white-washing the Aussies 3-0 in the last series. This after failing to reach the finals of the tri-series in Australia. That fairly explains their inconsistency in international cricket. They are a team who have been affected by injuries to players always - is it a reflection of their physical conditioning ? Maybe. Also, the squad seems to be imbalanced with a batsman short.

Stephen Fleming is probably the best captain of all the teams participating in the World Cup. If he had an Australia-like team at his disposal, it would have reached greater heights. He is one of the key batsmen who has to play 50 overs for his team to post a competetive score.

Lou Vincent is the other opening batsmen in the team. Has been in and out of the team recently. But, has shown that he has the temperament to sweat it out at the highest level.

Ross Taylor is the new kid on the block, who has shown good temperament against the Sri Lankans and Aussies. Will be one of the batsmen to look out for, in the tournament.

Scott Styris has started neglecting his bowling, which would have been very much handy for the Windies during this World Cup. His batting is solid but not his recent form.

Craig McMillan is back into the NZ team after a lay-off. He continues his normal aggressive game while batting. But, can be very inconsistent.

Peter Fulton has been steady without being spectacular. But, doesnt look like he will get many games to play in this World Cup.

Brendon McCullum belongs to the genre of Gilchrist, Dhoni - that of "explosive wicket-keeper". He has shown a different facet to his batting recently (of building his innings when required).

Shane Bond is the best bowler of all test-playing nations in recent times against the Aussies. He seems to be pumped up while playing against them. Speed was his forte, but he has started adding other tricks to his bowling.

Jacob Oram's batting has assumed great proportions - with his swashbuckling century during the tri-series in Australia. His bowling seems to have tapered off a bit - a very useful cricketer all the same.

James Franklin is the left-armer in the pace attack. Has improved his batting. Gives variety to the attack if required.

Mark Gillespie is relatively a new bowler in this squad - has gained exposure during the recent games against Australia and England. Nothing great for opposition batsmen to fear about.

Daryl Tuffey has been recalled for god knows why. Does this mean that there is a dearth of quality pacemen in NZ? He has been ordinary after his return.

Michael Mason is another decent performer with the ball. Again, nothing great performer.

Daniel Vettori has been in the squad for ages now. Toiling away on various tours. Has improved his batting also. Now, he seems to have a good spin twin, to be more effective.

Jeetan Patel should like the pitches in West Indies to his liking. Should be given more chances than the pacemen in the squad.
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