If there is an award for consistency in cricket, The Blackcaps will be the first group to be nominated. In the last decade, New Zealand has been the most consistent team, along with their Indian counterparts. The Kiwis have been runners-up in the last two editions of the 50-over World Cup and semi-finalist in the 2016 T20I championship. And also, New Zealand was the first team to qualify for the WTC final. But then the question arises - Can they continue this golden run in this year's T20 World Cup?
The odds are in favour of Kiwis. They have a solid squad with Kane Williamson leading the side in all three formats and excellent death bowlers, who will be looking to play their first T20 final. And after they are done with the WTC final, the Blackcaps complete focus will be on their maiden ICC T20 trophy.
Let's take a look at which players could help the no.3 T20I team win the ICC T20 World Cup in 2021:
Kiwis top-order has a good balance of aggression plus a balanced style of batting. While players like Martin Guptill and Colin Munro can destroy any bowling attack on their day. And if they get out early, Williamson can provide stability at no.3.
Though Munro has been out of the team for quite a while now, he is an excellent opener in T20 format who has scored 1724 runs in 65 matches with a strike rate above 150.
Williamson may be a more renowned batsman in Tests, still you cannot overlook his performances for Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL and T20I.
At no.4, Devon Conway has cemented his place with his sensational batting display in the last few matches. He is averaging close to 60 in 14 T20I games with 473 runs.
Ross Taylor is our pick for the no.5 spot. The right-handed batter might not be getting any younger, but he has tremendous experience under his belt. Ross is someone who can absorb pressure and then unleash sixes when on the crease.
Glenn Phillips and James Neesham can come in after Taylor and play the role of finishers. Jimmy is a more than helpful player as he can break a partnership with his variations in pace bowling.
The Kiwis have a terrific mix of bowlers who can swing the bowl during powerplay and deliver some wide yorkers in death overs. Their attack should be led by Trent Boult and Tim Southee. They both have an adequate amount of experience playing with the best players globally.
We have recently seen Boult bowling exceptionally well at the death in IPL for Mumbai Indians.
Assuming that T20 World Cup go ahead as per the decided venue, Santner will be a great asset for the New Zealand side on turning Indian pitches, acting as a 'dark horse'.
New Zealand's Probable 15 for T20 World Cup:
Tim Siefert, Colin Munro, Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson(C), Devon Conway, Ross Taylor, Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson, Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson, Ish Sodhi, Adam Milne