New Zealand team – Strengths and Weaknesses of the Black Caps before ICC T20 World Cup 2024

The highly-awaited ICC T20 World Cup 2024 will be starting this week. The tournament will be played across the United States of America and the Caribbeans. While the West Indies will be hosting the competition for the second time, the USA will be doing it for the very first time.

A record 20 teams will be participating in the ninth edition of the ICC T20 World Cup. New Zealand are one of the 20 teams and one of the contenders for the title. The Black Caps are in Group C along with Afghanistan, West Indies, Uganda and Papua New Guinea.

They will open their campaign against Afghanistan on June 7 before taking on the co-hosts West Indies on June 12. Their last two group games are against Uganda and Papua New Guinea on June 14 and 17 respectively. And before New Zealand begin their campaign in the 2024 T20 World Cup, we are taking a look at their squad’s strength, weakness, opportunities and threats.

New Zealand squad SWOT analysis:

Strength:

Captain Kane Williamson:

In Kane Williamson, New Zealand have a captain who just loves the added responsibility of leading a team. His batting always goes a notch higher while leading the team and the Black Caps will be hoping that their talismanic captain delivers for them again.

Williamson is also one of the most experienced T20 players in the world. He has scored over 6000 runs in 250 T20s with the help of one century and 45 fifties. In T20Is, he has scored 2547 runs in 89 games with the help of 18 half-centuries. 

Potent new-ball attack:

New Zealand have a very reliable new-ball attack. The likes of Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Matt Henry can blow just any team away on their day. Boult recently showcased his skills with the new ball in the IPL. The left-arm pacer constantly troubled the batters in the powerplay and gave Rajasthan Royals good starts on most of the occasions. Lockie Ferguson is another brilliant option as a fast-bowler. He can regularly bowl above 140 kph and trouble the batters with his pace and bounce. Ferguson, however, is likely to be used in the middle overs when there are no fielding restrictions.

Weakness:

Death overs:

New Zealand have a big task at hand when it comes to restricting the opposition in the death overs. While the likes of Boult, Southee and Henry can cause a lot of damage with the new ball, their performance in the death overs is not very promising.

The grounds in the Caribbeans won’t have very big dimensions and  New Zealand need to find a way to make sure they do not leak a lot of runs in the death overs.

Lack of power-hitters:

While New Zealand have a number of reliable top-order batters such as Kane Williamson, Rachin Ravindra as well as Devon Conway, they do not have any lower-order batter who can fire on all cylinders right from the start.

The likes of Daryl Mitchell, Glenn Phillips and Mark Chapman can score at a good pace but they are not really known for their power-hitting abilities.

Opportunities:

First World Cup title:

The current New Zealand team will have the opportunity to create history by guiding their country to its first-ever World Cup title. While the Black Caps have been one of the most consistent teams in the ICC competitions, they are yet to go all the way in any edition across formats. In 2021, they finished runners-up in the T20 World Cup before exiting at the semifinal stage in the previous edition. 

Kane Williamson eyes history:

Kane Williamson will also be eyeing history in the upcoming T20 World Cup as he can become the first New Zealand captain to win a World Cup. The right-handed batsman is already one of the most decorated New Zealand captains of all time after leading his country to the final of the ODI World Cup in 2019 and the World Test Championship final and T20 World Cup final in 2021.

Threat:

Poor record in knockout games:

New Zealand’s struggle to win the knockout games in the ICC competition could dent their confidence in the upcoming T20 World Cup. They have regularly made it to the semifinals of the ICC tournaments but have failed to go all the way even once. The upcoming tournament gives them a good opportunity to finally end their long wait for a maiden World Cup title.

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New Zealand squad for ICC T20 World Cup 2024:

Kane Williamson (c), Finn Allen, Trent Boult, Michael Bracewell, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ben Sears (travelling reserve)

New Zealand’s schedule:

  • June 8: New Zealand vs Afghanistan, Providence Stadium, Georgetown, Guyana: 05:00 AM (IST)
  • June 13: New Zealand vs West Indies, Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Tarouba, San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago: 06:00 AM (IST)
  • June 15: New Zealand vs Uganda, Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Tarouba, San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago: 06:00 AM (IST)
  • June 17: New Zealand vs Papua New Guinea, Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Tarouba, San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago: 08:00 PM (IST)

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